On October 30, 2019, NACDL hosted an advocacy call on drug-induced homicide laws. Speakers included Valena Elizabeth Beety, Professor of Law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice, a new criminal justice center connecting research with policy reform; Leo Beletsky, Associate Professor of Law and Health Sciences at Northeastern University, where he is the faculty director of the Health in Justice Action Lab; and Lindsey LaSalle, Managing Director, Public Health, Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance.
On the books in many states and federally, drug-induced homicide laws have gained in popularity as the country deals with an increase in drug overdose deaths. Drug-induced homicide laws seek to hold drug distributors criminally responsible for overdose deaths. Believed to target major drug traffickers, these laws are actually resulting in friends, family members and romantic partners of overdose victims being charged for their death. According to a 2017 report by the Drug Policy Alliance, individuals charged with or prosecuted for drug-induced homicide increased by over 300 percent in six years, to 1,178 in 2016 from 363 in 2011. Racial disparities are present with a disproportionate number of charges being brought in cases where the victim is white and the dealer is a person of color. Racial bias is also evident in the gaping disparity of the sentences being handed down to drug-induced homicide defendants of color – a median of nearly nine years, compared to five years for white defendants.
Health in Justice Action Lab
Drug-Induced Homicide Defense Toolkit
Charging ‘Dealers’ with Homicide: Explained
America’s Favorite Antidote: Drug-Induced Homicide in the Age of the Overdose Crisis
"A Dose of Reality: Drug Death Investigations and the Criminal Justice System", The Champion
The Overdose/Homicide Epidemic
DIH Law Proliferation 2009 2019 map (video)
DIH Law Proliferation 2009 2019 bar chart (video)
Learn more about NACDL's State Criminal Justice Network. Monica L. Reid, Host. Music I Will! Rise Above (Jared C. Balogh) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
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.