☰ In this section

News Releases ~ 2007

Defense Bar President Praises Commission Vote on Retroactivity of Cocaine Base Sentencing Guideline -- Washington, DC­ (December 11, 2007) – Carmen D. Hernandez, president of the 13,000-member National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement praising the decision of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make the 2007 cocaine base guideline amendment retroactive for all affected federal prisoners. More 

Supreme Court Decisions Affirm Judicial Discretion, ‘Advisory’ Sentencing Guidelines -- Washington, DC­ (December 10, 2007) In two cases today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its confidence that experienced federal judges have the discretion to craft an appropriate sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to accomplish the goals set forth by Congress in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. Today’s cases firmly establish that the federal sentencing guidelines are “advisory” only and that sentences within and outside the guidelines must be “reasonable.” More 

Innocence Network and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Announce Joint Task Force to Review Cases Impacted by Discredited FBI Bullet Analysis -- Washington, DC­ (November 19, 2007) – The Innocence Network and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced today that they are forming a Joint Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis Task Force to ensure that convictions resulting from discredited FBI bullet analysis are properly reviewed. More 

Wyatt ‘Embracery’ Indictment Dismissed -- Washington, DC­ (November 14, 2007) – A rare indictment of a criminal defense lawyer on misdemeanor grand jury tampering charges was dismissed today following a short hearing. NACDL member Deborah Wyatt, of Charlottesville, VA, had been under indictment since 2005 on five counts of “embracery,” an ancient common law misdemeanor, because of her efforts to get an Albemarle County grand jury to hear exculpatory evidence she wished to provide on behalf of a client. The indictment was finally unsealed last week. More 

Defense Bar, Business and Legal Groups Support Legislation -- Washington, DC­ (November 13, 2007) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers fully supports H.R. 3013, “The Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Monday afternoon with no serious opposition. NACDL President Carmen D. Hernandez stated, “The attorney-client privilege is our oldest privilege at common law. It has served the public interest well for hundreds of years by ensuring frank and confidential communications between persons and their lawyers in potential civil and criminal matters. The criminal defense bar hopes that the Senate will now pass this legislation without further delay.” More 

PAKISTAN: Thousands of Lawyers Beaten, Detained by Police -- Washington, DC­ (November 6, 2007) – The Constitution of the United States was ordained by our founders to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” The Preamble to the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan declares that “the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured" and is “[d]edicated to the preservation of democracy achieved by the unremitting struggle of the people against oppression and tyranny.” Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s “Proclamation of Emergency” holding Pakistan’s constitution “in abeyance” was declared illegal and contrary to the rule of law by a majority of the justices of the supreme court just before their resignations. More 

Statement of Alan Silber, Lawyers Assistance Strike Force Committees for The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- Washington, DC­ (November 5, 2007) – Alan Silber, representing the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), today issued the following statement in response to the Circuit Court’s unsealing of a misdemeanor indictment alleging that Charlottesville criminal defense lawyer Deborah C. Wyatt violated Virginia common law by informing the grand jury of her availability as a witness on behalf of her client. More 

World Day Against the Death Penalty -- On Wednesday 10 October, celebrities and activists will mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty with an important press conference hosted by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. More 

ABA Report, Lethal Injection Case, Show Death Penalty System Is Fatally Flawed -- Washington, DC­ (September 26, 2007) – The announcement yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court that it will review lethal injection protocols and the release Monday of a report from the American Bar Association on Ohio’s death penalty laws and procedures[1] are further reasons why the United States needs to impose an immediate moratorium on all state and federal capital trials and executions, the President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said today. More 

Ethics v. Expediency: Public Defender Fined for Refusing to Try Case 2 1/2 Hours after Appointment -- Washington, DC­ (August 27, 2007) – An Ohio public defender was fined $100 and given a three-day suspended sentence for refusing to go to trial unprepared in a multi-witness assault case the same day he was appointed. Portage County Municipal Court Judge John Plough imposed the sentence on Brian Jones after a three-hour hearing late Friday afternoon. More 

NACDL President Condemns Jailing of Public Defender -- Washington, DC­ (August 17, 2007) Carmen Hernandez today condemned the jailing of a public defender who refused to go to trial unprepared. Brian Jones, a public defender in Portage County, Ohio, was arrested for contempt after refusing to begin the misdemeanor assault trial of Jordan Scott. Mr. Scott’s case was assigned to Mr. Jones on Wednesday; the trial was to have begun at 1:30 pm Thursday. More 

Defense Lawyers Bar Supports Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Bill -- Washington, DC (July 12, 2007) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), a member organization of the Coalition to Preserve the Attorney-Client Privilege, fully supports the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007 introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The attorney-client privilege – the oldest privilege under common law – exists to protect the public in civil and criminal matters by ensuring frank and honest communications between client and lawyer. More 

Executions and Madmen -- Washington, DC (June 28, 2007) – Defense lawyers, legal scholars and mental health advocates breathed a sigh of relief today when the Supreme Court narrowly reversed the case of a mentally-ill Texas death row inmate. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) applauded the ruling for upholding centuries of “compassionate precedent” over recent attempts to streamline death sentences in the state and federal courts. More 

Guidelines Only One Factor Among Many At Sentencing, Supreme Court Holds -- Washington, DC (June 21, 2007) – In a Federal Sentencing Guidelines decision handed down today, the Supreme Court again made it clear that the guidelines are merely advisory. Counsel may argue that the case falls outside the “heartland” of the guidelines, or that the guidelines sentence fails properly to reflect the sentencing factors Congress identified, or that the “case warrants a different sentence regardless.” The Court reaffirmed that district courts must exercise discretion based on the individual characteristics of the defendant and the circumstances of the offense, imposing a sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to comply with the goals of sentencing. More 

Passenger Case Is a ‘Victory for Common Sense' -- Washington, DC (June 18, 2007) – Today’s Supreme Court decision holding that passengers in a car that has been illegally stopped by police have the same right as the driver to challenge the stop is a “victory for common sense,” said Martin S. (Marty) Pinales, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). More 

Supreme Court Declines to Re-impose Death Sentence -- Washington, DC­ (May 21, 2007) – The U.S. Supreme Court today dismissed the state’s appeal of a lower court decision which threw out a Missouri prisoner’s death sentence. A majority of the Court, in an unsigned “per curiam” opinion, relied on an argument made by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in a “friend of the court” brief, that the trial court misinterpreted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and federal case law when it dismissed death row inmate William Weaver’s original habeas corpus petition in 1996. More 

‘Crack’ Guideline Long Overdue, Criminal Lawyers Say -- Washington, DC (April 28, 2007) The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has fought for fairness in drug sentencing since the first set of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines was drafted 20 years ago. NACDL has actively participated in the guidelines comment and amendment process continuously since then. On May 1, the Sentencing Commission will send an amendment to the cocaine base (“crack”) guideline to Congress which will bring some small measure of fairness back into drug sentences, and NACDL supports the new guideline as a sensible and progressive first step toward ending the unfair disparity in cocaine sentencing. More 

National Criminal Bar Supports Judicial Pay Increase -- Washington, DC­ (April 19, 2007) – When a first-year associate on Wall Street, who has never represented a client or seen the inside of a courtroom, will earn more this year than the most experienced New York state jurist, the repercussions of the state legislature’s hostility toward the bench threatens to undermine public confidence in the judicial system itself, the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said last week. Despite one of the highest costs of living in the USA, New York’s judges have not received a single pay raise or cost of living adjustment since 1999. The governor’s proposed budget included $111 million to alleviate the crisis, but the pay increase was dropped during backroom negotiations. The reason, it seems, was that lawmakers want a pay raise too. More 

Defense Lawyers Urge Investigation Into U.S. Attorney Dismissals -- Washington, DC­ (March 14, 2007) – In light of recent revelations regarding the dismissal of U.S. Attorneys by persons in the Attorney General’s office and the White House, President Martin S. Pinales of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today made the following statement. More 

Supreme Court, Congress Must Restore Habeas Corpus -- Washington, DC­ (February 21, 2007) The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is extremely disappointed in the decision in which a divided panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that none of the prisoners at Guantanamo Naval Base have any right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in federal court. The court ruled, in effect, that the United States can imprison people virtually forever without judicial review. These prisoners were captured by the United States, are confined in prisons built by the United States, are guarded by members of the United States Armed Forces, are subjected to interrogation by the United States intelligence services, and may be imprisoned for the rest of their lives, yet they cannot even petition a court for a writ of habeas corpus for determination whether their imprisonment was the result of a mistake. More 

D.C. Circuit Vacates Officer’s ‘Gratuity’ Conviction -- Washington DC­ (February 9, 2007) After a 6-year struggle, a veteran D.C. police detective has been cleared of wrongdoing by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case that could affect overzealous public corruption prosecutions nationwide. More 

National Legal Group Files Lawsuit Challenging Illinois Police Defense of Traditional Lineups -- Chicago, IL (February 8, 2007) – Citing wrongful convictions due to mistaken eyewitness identification and the urgent need to reform traditional police eyewitness identification procedures, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in conjunction with the MacArthur Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, filed a civil lawsuit today against the Illinois police departments who participated in a controversial study of eyewitnesses and police lineups. The police refused to provide the underlying data and protocols supporting the report’s controversial conclusion that eyewitnesses are less likely to falsely identify an innocent suspect in traditional simultaneous, non-blind lineups—where suspects all stand in one room—than in lineups in which the witnesses view the suspects one at a time and the administrator does not know which person might be the real suspect. More  

Lawsuit Challenges Chicago Police Defense of Traditional Lineups -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will file a lawsuit tomorrow against the Chicago police and other Illinois police departments that participated in a controversial study of eyewitness and police lineups. The police refused to provide the underlying data and protocols supporting the report’s controversial conclusion that current eyewitness procedures—those that use traditional line ups where all suspects stand in a room together—are more effective than new procedures in which witnesses view one suspect at a time under the supervision of an officer who does not know who the suspect is in the line up. More 

Natl. Criminal Defense Bar Warns Cook County Board Public Defender Budget Cuts Would Break Down System -- Washington, DC (January 31, 2007) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers sent a representative to the Cook County Board of Commissioners budget hearing Tuesday night to warn that cutting the public defender budget could have serious consequences not just for poor defendants but for the court system itself. More 

New York State Bar Association Recognizes 3 NACDL Lawyers -- Washington, DC (January 25, 2007) – “The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is proud that the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section will recognize three of our distinguished members at its Annual Meeting in New York City Jan. 25,” NACDL President Martin S. Pinales said Thursday. “The annual awards are among the most prestigious criminal bar awards in the country, reflecting these three lawyers' personal efforts to maintain and improve the integrity and highest principles of the criminal justice system. For that, we are all in their debt.” More 

Supreme Court Reaffirms Right to Trial By Jury -- Washington, DC (January 22, 2007) – Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued another important decision on the right of a defendant to be sentenced only on the facts proven at trial. The case, Cunningham v. California, No. 05-6551, is the latest in a long line of truth in sentencing cases beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and crystallized in Blakely v. Washington (2004). The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the case. More 

Military Commission Rules ‘Designed to Convict’ Experts Say -- Washington, DC (January 18, 2007) The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) today criticized the Defense Department’s Manual for Military Commissions, stating that the rules are unfairly weighted in favor of military prosecutors and were finalized without a public comment period. More 

NACDL President Calls for Asst. Sec. Stimson’s Resignation -- Washington, DC (January 15, 2007) Martin S. Pinales, President of the preeminent organization representing the nation’s criminal defense lawyers today released a letter sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for the dismissal of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles D. “Cully” Stimson. Mr. Pinales was reacting to Mr. Stimson’s recent characterization of the pro bono representation provided to the Guantanamo detainees by leading law firms as “shocking” and suggested that “corporate CEOs are going to make those firms choose between representing terrorists and representing reputable firms.” More 

Criminal Defense Bar Applauds N.J. Death Penalty Study; Other States Must Reassess Capital Punishment Washington, DC(January 5, 2007) The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and supports reforms, including abolition of capital punishment. The NACDL welcomes the recommendations of the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission that the state death penalty be abolished, and that the resulting cost savings be passed on. The Association encourages the other 37 states which still have the death penalty to follow New Jersey’s example. More 

2007-2008 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors Members Sworn in at Annual Meeting -- 2007-2008 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors Members Sworn in at Annual Meeting. More 

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad