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.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
- 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.”
NACDL Releases Model Order Pursuant to the Due Process Protections Act
The amended Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5 requires that in all criminal proceedings, at the first scheduled court date at which both the prosecutor and defense counsel are present, the judge must issue an order confirming the prosecutor’s disclosure obligations under Brady v. Maryland. Defense lawyers should consider NACDL’s Model Standing Order on the Prosecution’s Brady Obligations.
News Release ~ 05/24/2012
Two Stevens’ Prosecutors Suspended for Brady Violations -- Washington, DC (May 24, 2012) – The U.S. Department of Justice revealed today the only two disciplinary actions it has taken in the investigation of professional misconduct leading to the indictment and conviction of the late senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens.
News Release ~ 03/15/2012b
NACDL Applauds Sensible, Bipartisan Discovery Reform Legislation Introduced Today in the United States Senate -- Washington, DC (March 15, 2012) – Leading U.S. Senators today introduced bipartisan legislation to bring about sensible discovery reform in criminal prosecutions. The bill is entitled the "Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012." Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Senator Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) are the lead sponsors who introduced the legislation, which can be found here.
News Release ~ 03/15/2012
Misconduct Report on Ted Stevens Prosecution: ‘Systematic Concealment of Exculpatory Evidence’ -- Washington, DC (March 15, 2012) – A two-year investigation of the prosecution of late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens reveals that federal prosecutors and an FBI agent involved in the case deliberately and wrongfully attempted to convict a sitting U.S. senator on corruption charges they knew, or should have known, were unfounded in fact.