News Releases ~ 2003

NACDL presents gift to National Constitution Center -- Philadelphia, PA (December 16, 2003)Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Theodore (Ted) Simon presented a gift of over $25,000 to National Constitution Center President Joseph M. Torsella today on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The money was raised from individual NACDL members in a fundraising drive organized by Simon in honor of the new Center and the role of criminal defense lawyers in defending the constitution and individual rights. More 

NACDL survey: U.S. attorneys deny that Ashcroft policy affects pleas -- Washington, DC (December 10, 2003) A new “get tough” plea bargaining policy issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft in September has not resulted in any major changes in the courtroom, according to a recent poll of U.S. attorney’s offices around the country conducted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. More 

Criminal defense lawyers represent Bill of Rights, judge says -- Washington, DC (November 5, 2003) – Characterizing criminal defense as “a very patriotic profession,” a New Orleans federal judge noted that a criminal defense lawyer “represents the United States of America, because the criminal defense lawyer represents the Bill of Rights – and the Bill of Rights is the essence of the United States of America.” More 

Gary Parker of Columbus receives Champion of Indigent Defense award from national criminal defense bar -- Washington, DC (November 5, 2003) – On October 31, at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 2003 Fall Meeting in New Orleans, criminal defense attorney, former Georgia state senator, and lifelong civil rights activist Gary Parker received the prestigious Champion of Indigent Defense award. Awarded once a year, the Champion of Indigent Defense award recognizes a group or individual for outstanding efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or national indigent defense system, through legislation, litigation, or other methods. More 

Remarks of U.S. District Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan -- Washington, DC (October 31, 2003)It is very much an honor for me to be asked to come speak to you all today. It’s an honor first of all because I have tremendous respect for this organization. In my prior life as a criminal defense lawyer, I viewed the NACDL as the big guys on the block, gutsy and outspoken and seemingly fearless in taking on prosecutors, judges or legislators for our unpopular causes. For those of us early in our careers, it was great to know you were all on the front lines. More  

Speech by Judge Berrigan, ABA panel on defense of poor highlight NACDL fall meeting -- Washington, DC (October 24, 2003)Friday Luncheon at Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel—Friday, October 31, 12:15: The Honorable Helen “Ginger” Berrigan, chief judge of the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, will be the keynote speaker. A New York native, Judge Berrigan was appointed to the bench in March of 1994. Before that, she was a criminal defense attorney who served as president of the Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union and as a Board member of the Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. PLUS: NACDL’s Champion of Indigent Defense award will be presented to Gary Parker of Columbus, Ga. More 

Analysis of changes to federal sentencing guidelines points to fallacies behind Feeney Amendment -- Washington, DC (October 17, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Federal Sentencing Guidelines Committee has released its analysis of changes to the sentencing guidelines by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, passed October 7 in response to Congressional directives contained in the Feeney Amendment to the PROTECT Act. More  

Improved access to DNA testing, standards for capital representation addressed in Innocence Protection Act -- Washington, DC (October 3, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (NACDL) commends the sponsors of the Innocence Protection Act of 2003 for their commitment to ensuring greater accuracy and fairness in our criminal justice system. This legislation, which was introduced Wednesday as part of a larger DNA-related legislative package, sets reasonable standards for access to DNA evidence by wrongly convicted prisoners and seeks to encourage states to improve the quality of representation in death penalty cases. More  

NACDL applauds Judicial Conference statement on judicial sentencing discretion -- Washington, DC (September 23, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers welcomes today's decision by the federal courts' policy-making body to seek repeal of recent restrictions on judicial sentencing discretion. The Feeney Amendment, which was enacted April 30, 2003, as an amendment to a popular child protection bill, calls for restrictions on the authority of federal judges to impose sentences outside the narrow range specified by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Since 1987, federal sentencing discretion has been limited by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which prescribe sentencing ranges based primarily on the type of offense and the defendant's criminal history. More 

Bush anti-terror proposals would undermine civil liberties, judicial oversight of investigations -- Washington, DC (September 11, 2003)E.E. "Bo" Edwards, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, today issued the following statement in response to President Bush's remarks yesterday calling for new measures which would further prevent judges from exercising discretion and oversight over the Justice Department's already-questionable handling of terrorism investigations and suspects. More   

Ninth Circuit decision affirms importance of jury input, attempts to limit arbitrariness in death sentences -- Washington, DC (September 3, 2003)E.E. "Bo" Edwards, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, today issued the following statement in response to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Summerlin v. Stewart, which made the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ring v. Arizona (finding death sentences by judges, rather than juries, unconstitutional) retroactive in its application. More 

New criminal defense bar president decries policy of shooting down suspected drug planes -- Washington, DC (August 21, 2003)E.E. "Bo" Edwards, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, today issued the following statement in response to recent reports that the United States will resume cooperation with South American governments in shooting down planes of suspected drug runners. More 

James A.H. Bell receives top award from national criminal defense bar -- Washington, DC (August 5, 2003)James A.H. Bell, a criminal defense attorney in Knoxville, TN, was awarded the twenty-third Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at their 2003 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, last week. Established in 1981 to honor NACDL’s 18th President Robert C. Heeney, the award is the most prestigious award given by the association and is awarded annually to one criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the association and the legal profession. More  

Criminal defense bar annual meeting to include Hart address, discussion of ethical issues related to military tribunal rules -- Washington, DC (July 25, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ annual meeting July 30-Aug. 2 will include formal action regarding ethical issues surrounding the Bush Administration’s rules governing conduct of trials of “enemy combatants” in military tribunals. The meeting will take place at the Westin Tabor Center in Denver. More 

Criminal defense bar to address ethical issues of tribunal rules -- Washington, DC (July 11, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ board of directors will formally take up ethical issues surrounding the Bush Administration’s rules governing conduct of trials of “enemy combatants” in military tribunals at the association’s annual meeting in Denver August 2. More 

Presidential candidates address criminal justice issues -- Washington, DC (June 20, 2003)In mid-October, 2003, The Champion, monthly magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, sent a list of questions to the nine declared Democratic candidates for president and the Bush-Cheney campaign. The candidates were asked for their views on the death penalty, DNA evidence, indigent defense services, judicial discretion, the war on terrorism versus civil liberties, and white collar/corporate crime. More 

Comments lead criminal defense bar to oppose nomination of Alabama AG to federal bench -- Washington, DC (June 11, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has voiced its opposition to the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. More 

Judicial discretion leads to merciful sentence, but federalism, state rights ignored in California medical marijuana prosecution -- Washington, DC (June 5, 2003)In response to yesterday’s disposition of the Ed Rosenthal medical marijuana case in San Francisco, in which Rosenthal was sentenced to one day in prison, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement. More   

Inspector General report on post-9/11 detentions highlights result of denial of effective oversight -- Washington, DC (June 5, 2003)In response to yesterday’s release of a report on the treatment of post-9/11 detainees by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers president Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement. More 

Halfway Houses Less of an Option in White-Collar Crime -- Washington, DC (May 25, 2003) – The Justice Department's two-year crackdown on corporate crime has snared a number of high-flying executives for cheating investors out of billions of dollars. More  

Mike Tigar on Lynne Stewart, ethics panel on client cooperation highlight NACDL spring meeting -- Washington, DC (April 28, 2003)Criminal defense bar meets at Marriott Marquis Times Square April 30-May 3More 

Team behind “The Exonerated” to receive NACDL’s Champion of Justice award -- Washington, DC (April 28, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will present its Champion of Justice award to the writers, director, and lead producer of “The Exonerated,” the hit off-Broadway play which depicts the stories of six innocent persons released after spending between two and 20 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. The awards will be presented at the Friday luncheon (noon, May 2) during NACDL’s spring meeting at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, 1535 Broadway, New York City. More 

Sneak amendments to Amber Alert bill would strip discretion from federal judges -- Washington, DC (April 1, 2003)Criminal defense lawyers, judges, and civil rights groups want the U.S. Senate to knock out last-minute House amendments to the Amber Alert bill that would strip federal judges of the last remaining vestiges of discretion in sentencing federal offenders. More  

NACDL members fill leadership roles, contribute training, ethics to ICB -- Washington, DC (March 28, 2003)A delegation of 17 members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has just returned from Berlin, where they attended the first full-membership session of the International Criminal Bar, an organization created to represent and regulate lawyers who will appear before the International Criminal Court. The ICB has been established to guarantee the independence of the legal profession that is essential for a fair system of international criminal justice. More  

Criminal defense bar cites tribunal rules’ threat to U.S. military personnel’s safety abroad -- Washington, DC (March 7, 2003)Citing a concern, among others, that U.S. military personnel could face danger due to its provisions, criminal defense bar leaders filed comments today with the Department of Defense General Counsel’s Office commenting on the DoD’s draft Instruction pertaining to crimes and their elements, as well as procedures, for use by military commissions. The proposed Instruction was issued on February 28th. More 

Today’s Supreme Court decisions feed wrong-headed punitive frenzy -- Washington, DC (March 5, 2003)In response to two decisions each in cases addressing Megan’s laws and three-strikes laws by the U.S. Supreme Court today, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More  

Sen. Arlen Specter to deliver luncheon keynote for right-to-counsel anniversary commemoration -- Washington, DC (March 3, 2003)A day-long symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright (guaranteeing representation to the accused), addressing the role of defense counsel in a fair justice system, and highlighting the unfulfilled promise of the right to counsel. More 

Mexican President Fox to receive award from NACDL for advocacy against death penalty -- Washington, DC (February 20, 2003)The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will present its Champion of Justice award to Mexican President Vicente Fox at a ceremony tomorrow during its annual Spring Meeting, being held this year in Cancun, Mexico. Subsecretary for Human Rights and Democracy Mariclaire Acosta will travel to Cancun to accept the award on Fox’s behalf. More 

Mobile lawsuit seeks injunction against Ashcroft order overriding judges' recommendations -- Washington, DC (February 7, 2003)A group of Mobile defense lawyers has sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons on behalf of clients whom federal authorities are sending to prison rather than the halfway houses recommended by judges in their cases. More   

U.S. should follow World Court order to stay executions of Mexican nationals -- Washington, DC (February 5, 2003)In response to news that the International Court of Justice at the Hague has ordered the United States to stay the next three pending executions of Mexican nationals until they prove that the defendants were given access to consular assistance, as required by international law, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

New BOP Policy Requires Transfer of Many Defendants from Halfway House Confinement to Prisons -- Washington, DC (January 28, 2003)NACDL comments regarding the BOP's proposed halfway house rule change, BOP proposed rule change, DOJ memorandum triggering the BOP policy change. More  

Maryland death penalty moratorium evaporates to bolster political position of new governor -- Washington, DC (January 22, 2003)In response to today's news that a Maryland judge has signed or will soon sign a death warrant for Steven Oken, thereby bringing a de facto end to Maryland's eight-month-old moratorium on the death penalty, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Sattazahn decision is step back from fair justice; will make those spared death penalty face it again -- Washington, DC (January 14, 2003)In response to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing defendants who have received a life sentence to be re-subjected to the death penalty if the jury vote for life was not unanimous, Chris Adams, Death Penalty Counsel for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Illinois commutations can benefit even victims, lead to better U.S. international relations -- Washington, DC (January 11, 2003)In response to today's commutation by Illinois Gov. George Ryan (who received NACDL's Champion of Justice award and addressed the luncheon at NACDL's Fall Meeting in Chicago this past November) of the remaining 156 death sentences in that state to life without parole, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Web page offers information on history of right to counsel in commemoration of Gideon v. Wainwright -- Washington, DC (January 3, 2003)In preparation for the 40th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has launched a special Web page of materials for journalists, lawyers, teachers, students, and the general public to learn about the right to counsel for the accused. The Gideon decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 18, 1963, and held that persons facing imprisonment are entitled to counsel at trial if they cannot afford an attorney. More 

NACDL Executive Committee passes resolution in support of judge threatened with subpoena by Congress -- When the House Judiciary Committee recently began to consider adoption of an unprecedented resolution allowing it to subpoena a sitting federal judge and force him to locate and produce information regarding his sentencing decisions, NACDL leadership stepped up to provide support. More 

2003-2004 Executive Committee officers and newly elected Board of Directors members sworn in at Annual Meeting -- 2003-2004 Executive Committee officers and newly elected Board of Directors members sworn in at Annual Meeting. More 

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