Prosecutorial overreaching and misconduct distort the truth-finding process and taint the credibility of the criminal justice system, including the outcomes they generate. When prosecutors’ fundamental obligations are ignored and individuals’ rights are violated in order to secure a conviction, little can be done to rectify the wrongs inflicted upon the individuals involved and on the system itself.
Government Accountability Office, Report to Congressional Committees, Professional Misconduct: DOJ Could Strengthen Procedures for Disciplining Its Attorneys (December 2014)
NACDL is dedicated to attaining meaningful, systemic reform to help prevent the insidious harm caused when a prosecutor carelessly, or purposefully, fails in his or her duties to us all. Prosecutorial overreaching and misconduct distort the truth-finding process and taint the credibility of the criminal justice system, including the outcomes they generate. When prosecutors’ fundamental obligations are ignored and individuals’ rights are violated in order to secure a conviction, little can be done to rectify the wrongs inflicted upon the individuals involved and on the system itself.
So long as this prosecutorial misconduct plagues the criminal justice system, NACDL will be on the frontlines seeking to enact effective barriers to such conduct and to ensure the rights of affected individuals are protected.
For more information on NACDL's work to provide the victims of prosecutorial misconduct with relief, read NACDL's Board Resolution regarding Reform of the Hyde Amendment and the White Collar Crime Committee Report on Reform the Hyde Amendment.
Additional resources on prosecutorial misconduct and possible reform
- Legislation, Model Laws, Ethics Rules & Other Commentary
- Case Examples of Prosecutorial Misconduct
- Law Reviews and Other Publications
- Department of Justice Materials
- Discovery Reform Overview
- Federal Discovery Reform
Pictured above: Seminar Co-Chair Gerald H. Goldstein moderating a panel on prosecutorial misconduct at NACDL's 6th Annual Defending the White Collar Case Seminar held in New York City in September 2010.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!
- From the President: There but for the Grace of God Go I or, Frank Carson, an Unlikely Martyr
- Trying to Stem the Tide: Closing the Door on Social Media Evidence
Criminal Procedure: The Due Process Protection Act: How Rule 5(f) Came to Be
and Where Do We Go from Here?
Rule 5(f)(1) requires judges to inform prosecutors of their obligation to produce exculpatory information and provides that courts may hold prosecutors accountable if they do not comply with a Brady order. Rule 5(f)(2) requires that each circuit council promulgate a Model Order that a district court “may use as it determines is appropriate.”
News Release ~ 01/17/2018
Department of Justice Successfully Blocks Public Access to Its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book – Washington, D.C. (Jan. 17, 2018) – Earlier today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed notice of its decision not to appeal the release of an extremely limited portion of its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The portion of the Blue Book that the Court found was not work product was a tiny fraction – what amounts to not much more than a handful of pages – out of a manual that contains at least 265 pages.
News Release ~ 12/20/2016
U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Denies Rehearing and En Banc Review as DOJ Continues Effort to Keep Its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book From Being Disclosed to the American Public; Panel Modifies Opinion and Remands to District Court -- Washington, DC (Dec. 20, 2016) – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied NACDL's petition both for a rehearing and en banc review following the July 19, 2016, decision of a three-judge panel...
News Release ~ 07/15/2015
Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Continues Push for Public Disclosure of the Department of Justice Discovery Blue Book--Washington, DC (July 15, 2015) – Today, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) brought its years-long effort to secure the public release of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, filing its opening brief this afternoon.