News Releases ~ 1995

Senate's Ruby Ridge Report Confirms: Law Enforcement Practices, Expansion Threaten Constitutional Freedoms -- Washington, DC (December 21, 1995) -- "Growing and increasingly powerful law enforcement agencies urgently require increased oversight," said Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in response to the report released today by the Senate subcommittee investigating the August, 1992 tragedy at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. More 

Clinton Plan to Force Drug Tests on Everyone Arrested is 'Orwellian,'Criminal Defense Bar Declares -- Washington, DC, (December 15, 1995) -- "Forced drug testing of every citizen who's arrested raises troubling Fourth Amendment questions, and it's a blatant violation of the Eighth Amendment," declared Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), today in response to President Clinton's announcement that he will order drug testing as a condition of bail for all federal arrestees. More 

Let Lawyers Question Prospective Jurors, Professional Criminal Defense Bar Urges -- Washington, DC (December 14, 1995) -- Federal courts should be required to permit attorneys to participate in pretrial questioning of jurors in criminal trials, prominent Northern California attorney James Farragher Campbell will urge a federal judicial panel at a hearing in Oakland, California on Friday. Campbell will testify on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). More 

"Tap 'Em, Entrap 'Em, and Zap 'Em" Antiterrorism Bill Imperils Americans' Rights, Puts Federal "Big Brother" in Charge -- Washington, DC (December 6, 1995) -- "The only Americans who have any need at all for sweeping new 'antiterrorism' legislation are politicians desperate to boost their ratings back home before Congress adjourns for the year," noted John Flannery, co-chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' (NACDL) Legislative Committee, at a Capitol Hill press conference organized by a broad-based coalition of groups opposed to legislation the House is expected to take up early next week. More 

Stetson Law Students Win National Criminal Trial Competition; Hofstra, New Mexico, and Southwestern Also in Top Four -- Washington, DC (November 9, 1995) -- Beating back fierce competition from 11 other law schools, a team of four students representing Stetson University College of Law took top honors in the 1995 Cathy E. Bennett National Criminal Trial Competition, sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and held at NACDL's Fall Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 25 -28. More 

Court's Cursory Analysis in Libretti Waters Down Property Rights of Citizens Who Plead Guilty -- Washington, DC (November 7, 1995) -- "America depends on the preservation of fairness and constitutional protections for the guilty as well as the innocent. But apparently today's Supreme Court -- with the exception of Justice Stevens -- is untroubled about applying a watered-down standard to protect the property rights of defendants in criminal forfeitures," declared Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in reaction to today's Supreme Court decision in Libretti v. U.S. More 

Joint Statement of Gerald H. Goldstein, Immediate Past President, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) -- Washington, DC (October 24, 1995) -- By virtue of their role in the justice system, the nation's criminal defense lawyers are uniquely positioned to observe how law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies perform their work. Before the headline-grabbing events at Waco and Ruby Ridge, NACDL's members were painfully aware of the increasingly militaristic culture growing throughout law enforcement in the United States. More 

Verdict highlights 'Our Precious Jury System' -- Washington, DC (October 3, 1995) -- "The 'not guilty' verdict in the O.J. Simpson case highlights the importance of America's precious constitutional system of justice," declared Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, reacting to today's verdict in the trial of O.J. Simpson. More 

Criminal Defense Bar Leader To Criticize Hypocrisy of Congress on Crime Measures -- Washington, DC (September 21, 1995) -- The head of the nation's criminal defense bar will criticize Congress' criminal justice agenda in a speech to the annual meeting of the District of Columbia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (DCACDL), to be held at Sfuzzi, in Washington's Union Station, on Friday evening, September 22. More 

IRS Probe of Law Firm Was 'Pretext' Improperly Aimed at Obtaining Information on Client -- Washington, DC (September 14, 1995) -- Ruling on an issue of huge importance to law firms across the nation, a federal appeals court in Boston yesterday affirmed a lower court finding that "the IRS's purported probe of [a] law firm's tax-related affairs was a hoax" designed to obtain financial information about one of the firm's clients without going through procedures established by Congress "specifically to protect the civil rights, including the privacy rights, of taxpayers." More 

Congress Should Act on the Common Lessons of Waco and Ruby Ridge -- Washington, DC (September 6, 1995) -- With Congress now focusing public attention on the law enforcement lawlessness that contributed to the tragedies at the Branch Davidians' Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas, and the home of the Weaver family on Ruby Ridge, Idaho, congressional leaders must adopt reforms to strengthen Americans' constitutional protections against such misconduct, and abandon proposals that would further weaken them, wrote Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in a letter to congressional leaders on the eve of Senate hearings on the Ruby Ridge incident. More 

'Three Strikes' Laws: 'Absurd and Unnecessary' -- Washington, DC (August 14, 1995) -- "The federal 'three strikes' law tried to fix a system that wasn't broken," according to Robert Fogelnest, of New York City, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). "In fact, it's just another instance of federal authority intruding into matters traditionally and properly left to the states." More 

Depriving Death Row Inmates of Qualified Lawyers 'Abdicates Constitutional and Moral Responsibility' -- Washington, DC (August 14, 1995) -- "Wanting to appear 'tough' on crime is one thing, but depriving people who have been condemned to death of the counsel they need is dead wrong. It's a moral embarrassment and an abdication of our nation's constitutional and moral responsibilities. It's beyond the pale," declared Robert Fogelnest, of New York City, in taking office as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). More 

Government Deceit Before, During and After Waco Raid, Defense Attorney Will Show -- Washington, DC (July 20, 1995) -- "Rather than teaching new lessons, the events at Waco serve to reaffirm the lessons the framers of the Constitution knew very well. They knew then what we must not forget -- that there will always be people in law enforcement who are ambitious, who enjoy power and who will be willing to distort the truth to achieve their objectives or to hide from blame," criminal defense lawyer Tim Evans, of Houston, Texas, will tell the House subcommittees examining the 1993 events at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco when he testifies on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) on Friday, July 21. More 

Proposals in Congress Made Future Wacos More Likely, Not Less -- Washington, DC (July 19, 1995) -- "Even as these Subcommittees begin to review the tragic debacle at Waco, ironically both Houses of Congress are considering measures to expand still further the powers of the very federal agencies responsible for that and other disasters. Those measures would bring about dramatic increases in the unchecked power, authority, and role of federal officials in everyday American life," according to National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Gerald H. Goldstein. More 

Proposal is 'Anathema' to Constitutional System -- Washington, DC (June 29, 1995) -- "If Congress is going to give federal prosecutors the power to indict opposing lawyers for arguments they advance in court, it might as well repeal the Sixth Amendment and burn the Bill of Rights," according to National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Gerald H. Goldstein, of San Antonio. More 

Civil Forfeiture Laws Trash the Constitution -- Washington, DC (June 22, 1995) -- "A worse example of police state tactics would be hard to find. Civil forfeiture laws have perverted law enforcement agencies by allowing them summarily to seize property from innocent citizens and corporations," National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Gerald H. Goldstein, of San Antonio, said today. More 

New Study Documents Sentencing Waste: Unfair Crack Sentences Cost Taxpayers $3.5 Billion -- Washington, DC (June 15, 1995) -- Racially discriminatory federal sentences for drug offenses involving crack cocaine will waste $3.5 billion of taxpayers' money if Congress fails to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce those sentences, a report prepared for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) reveals. More 

Abandoning Constitutional Liberties Won't Cure Crime -- Washington, DC (June 12, 1995) -- The broad-based abandonment of constitutional liberties contained in the current congressional crime agenda represents a dangerous surrender of long-cherished American rights and will be futile in making our society safer, criminal defense lawyers from across the U.S. will tell congressional leaders on Wednesday, June 14 when they arrive in Washington for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' (NACDL) Fourth Annual Legislative Fly-In. More 

South Africa Surpasses United States as Respecter of Human Rights -- Washington, DC (June 6, 1995) -- "This is a historic day, not just for South Africa, but for the entire world community," said an ecstatic National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Gerald H. Goldstein, of San Antonio, Texas, in praising what he called the "wonderful, beautiful decision" of South Africa's Constitutional Court to outlaw capital punishment in that country. Goldstein noted that the decision further isolates the United States as the only Western country that still executes its citizens. More 

Oklahoma City Bombing: Criminal Defense Bar Urges Transfer of Case and Permitting Appointed Counsel to Withdraw -- Washington, DC (May 2, 1995) -- To ensure justice and due process, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Gerald H. Goldstein today urged the federal court in Oklahoma City to transfer the bombing case to another jurisdiction and permit the two local attorneys appointed to represent defendant Timothy McVeigh to withdraw from the case. More 

NACDL President Warns Against Legislative Overreaction to Oklahoma City Bombing -- Washington, DC (April 26, 1995) -- Gerald H. Goldstein, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), today warned members of Congress against using the tragic Oklahoma City bombing as an excuse for stampeding to enact "anti-terrorism" legislation that tramples basic American principles of due process and limited government power. More 

Provisions in Senate Crime Bill Would Eviscerate Fourth and Fifth Amendments -- Washington, DC (March 23, 1995) -- Proposals that would corrode the constitutional pillars of our legal system and undermine our cherished American democracy are now making their way through Congress. More 

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