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Vol. 11 No. 8 - August 21, 2012

Richmond Attorney Steven D. Benjamin Installed as President of NACDL

Richmond, Va. attorney Steven D. Benjamin was sworn in on July 28, 2012, as President of NACDL at its 54th Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Mr. Benjamin has previously served the Association as its President-Elect, First- and Second Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary, as well as several terms on the Board of Directors.

Mr. Benjamin is an attorney in private practice with the Richmond, Va. firm of Benjamin & DesPortes. In addition to his private practice, he serves as Special Counsel to the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee, and is a member of the Virginia Board of Forensic Science and the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. A Past President of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Mr. Benjamin is a 2003 recipient of the Virginia State Bar’s Lewis F. Powell Pro Bono Award and is a frequent national lecturer on criminal justice.

Much of his career has been devoted to criminal justice reform. As Special Counsel to the Virginia State Crime Commission, he assisted in the creation of Virginia’s Writs of Actual Innocence, and helped draft the procedure enacted by the Virginia General Assembly to restore appellate rights lost solely because of attorney error. When biological evidence was discovered in more than 20 years of old case files stored in Virginia’s crime laboratories, he helped persuade state political leadership to order statewide DNA testing. When the pace of that testing stalled, he worked to obtain the passage of legislation mandating effective notification of interested parties that this new evidence had been found.

Mr. Benjamin was counsel in the landmark Virginia Supreme Court decision recognizing a constitutional right to forensic expert assistance at state expense for indigent defendants. In other cases, he argued through the trial courts and on appeal that Virginia’s mandatory fee caps on compensation for court-appointed counsel deprived indigent defendants of conflict-free representation, and he led the litigation and legislative effort to abolish those caps. At the request of former Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell, Sr., Mr. Benjamin helped establish and chair an annual Advanced Indigent Defense Training Seminar to draw top lecturers from across the country to train Virginia’s defenders at no cost. With his longtime law partner Betty Layne DesPortes, he won the non-DNA exoneration and release of a man serving a life sentence for a murder he did not commit, and he argued in the United States Supreme Court that a Richmond trespassing policy violated the free speech rights of public housing residents.
Speaking to the Board of Directors and the assembled criminal defense bar in San Francisco, Mr. Benjamin outlined several goals for the Association and defense bar during his term:

  • Training of the defense bar and collaboration with experts in the use of forensic science, emphasizing the reliability of science in the search for the truth. “Whether our defense is one of actual innocence, an affirmative defense, reasonable doubt, or a mitigating circumstance, scientific evidence is the most powerful proof available,” he said.
  • Preservation of the right to be free from unreasonable searches and surveillance. Mr. Benjamin explained, “If we don’t act immediately, a right that defines this country - the right to be free of government drones and constant surveillance - will become a meaningless ideal we are powerless to enforce.”
  • Renewal of the strength of the Sixth Amendment promise of counsel for all accused. Fifty years after the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, Mr. Benjamin sees the promise of equal justice under law as largely unfulfilled. “Our defenders still struggle with paltry resources, low pay, and crushing caseloads,” he said. “The promise of Gideon, it seems, might be the promise of a warm body with a law license and not much more. But it is because of who we are and our willingness to sacrifice in the service of others that the promise of Gideon has meaning and strength.”

Continuing his remarks, Mr. Benjamin spoke of the role and motivation of criminal defense lawyers. “We became lawyers because we believe in freedom, the inherent worth of the individual, and the fair and equal protection of the law. We became lawyers because we fear the unchecked power of government just as we fear the irrational hatred and blood lust of an angry mob. We became lawyers because we are incapable of walking away from injustice, and because we understand a moral obligation to stand up so that tyranny will never prevail.”
Mr. Benjamin’s telephone number is (804) 788-4444.

Follow Steve Benjamin on Twitter @stevebenjaminva. Steve’s law firm is also on Facebook - “Like” them at Benjamin & DesPortes.

2012-13 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors members Sworn in at Annual Meeting

NACDL installed its new Officers and Directors at its Annual Board and Membership Meeting in San Francisco, California, on July 28, 2012. California attorney, NACDL Life Member and now NACDL Parliamentarian Vicki Young was awarded the 32nd annual Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award. The Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was awarded NACDL’s Champion of Justice Award. And Connecticut attorney Jennifer L. Zito was awarded NACDL’s 2nd Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award.

Newly installed officers and directors:

Executive Committee

President: Steven D. Benjamin (Richmond, VA)
President-Elect: Jerry J. Cox (Mount Vernon, KY)
First Vice-President: Theodore Simon (Philadelphia, PA)
Second Vice-President: E.G. Morris (Austin, TX)
Treasurer: John Wesley Hall (Little Rock, AR) (two-year term)
Secretary: Barry J. Pollack (Washington, DC)

Board of Directors

Ellen C. Brotman (Philadelphia, PA)
Alexander Bunin (Houston, TX)
Jean-Jacques Cabou (Phoenix, AZ)
Anthony Cotton (Waukesha, WI)
Aric M. Cramer (St. George, UT)
Candace Crouse (Cincinnati, OH)
Ramon De La Cabada (Miami, FL)
Drew Findling (Atlanta, GA)
Richard Gilbert (Washington, DC)
Nina Ginsberg (Alexandria, VA)
Bonnie Hoffman (Leesburg, VA)
Ashish Joshi (Ann Arbor, MI)
Nellie King (West Palm Beach, FL)
Benjamin LaBranche (Baton Rouge, LA)
Jeff Thoma (Fairfield, CA)

Vicki Young (San Francisco, CA) was appointed Parliamentarian by NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin at the July 28 meeting of the Board of Directors.

Directors Drew Findling (Atlanta, GA) and Christopher A. Wellborn (Rock Hill, SC) were selected to serve on NACDL’s Executive Committee.

Special Election to Fill Vacant Seat on the Board of Directors

Due to a resignation announced at the Board Meeting in San Francisco, NACDL’s Board of Directors will conduct a special election to fill a vacant seat on the board. The election will be held at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting in New Orleans on October 27, 2012. The Board manages the business affairs and policy of NACDL, and any voting member may submit his or her name as a candidate. For more information, visit http://www.nacdl.org/Elections/.

Vicki Young Receives 2012 Heeney Award

NACDL is pleased to announce that San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Vicki Young was chosen as this year’s Robert C. Heeney Award recipient. NACDL’s most prestigious recognition for service to the association, the Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies its goals and values and the legal profession.

For more, please click here.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero Awarded Champion of Justice Award by National Criminal Defense Bar

On July 27, 2012, the Foundation for Criminal Justice and NACDL honored the architect of the “John Adams Project” -- Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU -- with the Champion of Justice award. Through the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the ACLU and NACDL, detainees accused of capital crimes at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, received appropriately qualified defense teams before the Bush Administration’s military commissions there.

For more, please click here.

Jennifer Zito Picked for National Justice Reform Award

Jennifer L. Zito, solo practitioner in Meriden, Conn., was awarded NACDL’s 2nd Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award on Friday, July 27, 2012 NACDL’s 11th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference in San Francisco, California. This award honors individuals or groups whose exceptional efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system.

For more, please click here.

Defense Bar Proposes Pretrial Release Reform - Release with Least-Restrictive Conditions Favored Over Financial Bail; Defendants Should Get Jail Credit for Court-Supervised Release

NACDL’s Board of Directors approved the first major bail reform policy proposal in over 25 years at its Annual Meeting in San Francisco July 28. The policy was proposed by the Association’s Task Force on Pretrial Justice after a year of study.

President Steven D. Benjamin explained, “The proposal emphasizes release over detention, with a preference for personal recognizance in most cases. For those persons who do not qualify for release on personal recognizance, NACDL supports standards requiring judicial officers to release the defendant with the least onerous conditions possible.”

For more, please click here.

California Supreme Court Holds 110-Year Sentence for Juvenile Defendant Was ‘Cruel and Unusual’

On August 16, the California Supreme Court held that sentencing a juvenile to imprisonment - a term of years - with a parole eligibility date that falls past his natural life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Graham v. Florida, which prohibited sentencing juveniles to life without parole for non-homicide convictions, the California court unanimously agreed that Rodrigo Caballero’s sentence of 110 years to life for three attempted murders with bodily injury deprived him of “a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.”

For more, please click here.

New Attack on Counsel Access at GTMO Heard Friday, August 17, 2012

In the latest attack on attorney-client relationships at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. Department of Justice now takes the position that Guantanamo detainees whose habeas corpus cases have been terminated no longer have the right of access to their lawyers and vice versa. Under a new “memorandum of understanding,” attorney-client visits and communications are permitted at the sole discretion of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo.

For more, please click here. 

DOJ Needs to Consider Its Full Impact on System, Say Public Defenders and Private Criminal Defense Lawyers

NACDL and the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) Section of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association have issued a joint resolution calling on legislators and criminal justice policy-makers to prepare “justice system impact statements” for any proposed legislation or policy change that impacts federal, state or local criminal justice systems. The joint resolution released August 20 proposes that the U.S. Department of Justice, which already distributes substantial funding to local police and prosecutors, fund such studies through its criminal justice grant programs.

For more, please click here.

In DISROBED: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge, Judge Frederic Block provides a rare and revealing look at the career, cases and wisdom of a federal court judge

On July 17, NACDL Press and Thomson Reuters Westlaw announced the release of the first book of their joint publishing venture. Providing a view into the private world of a sitting judge on one of the nation’s most influential benches, and in one of the world's most famous cities, a new book by Judge Frederic Block gives a personal account of his experiences with controversial legal topics such as the death penalty, racketeering, terrorism, discrimination and foreign affairs. In DISROBED: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge (July 17, 2012; Thomson Reuters Westlaw and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; $29.95), Judge Block illuminates this sometimes mysterious branch of government, sharing a behind-the-scenes look into his life and some of the trials of a federal court judge.

Appointed to the federal bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, Judge Block provides commentary throughout DISROBED on some of the most prominent and sensational cases that he has presided over during his nearly 20 years as a federal judge, including the Crown Heights Riots and the trials of mafia boss Peter Gotti and nightclub magnate Peter Gatien.

DISROBED takes you into the courtroom and chambers of a federal judge, offering a rare and real look at some of the least-talked-about aspects of the bench, including the difficulties of sentencing and the mental toll it takes knowing you have the power to drastically alter someone's life and liberty. The prevalence of death threats and the risks that judges and their families have to face to serve and uphold the justice system also is discussed.

Praise for DISROBED 

  • “Judge Block gives the reader an engaging, often humorous account of his life, as always, and a compelling introduction to the world of a federal judge whose decisions are subject to plenty of public scrutiny but whose decision-making process remains a mystery for most Americans.” - President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States 
  • “A pleasure cruise, first class all the way, with a superb navigator. Judge Block tells a story the public needs to read and appreciate about its great justice system. And he tells it simply and compellingly as he lived it, with facts, figures and even more, with extraordinary humor and humanity.” - Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of the state of New York 
  • DISROBED is a lot like its author: honest, smart, interesting, provocative and deeply humane. It is not often we are permitted into the private world of the robed men and women who have the awesome responsibility of judging others.” - Ben Brafman, criminal defense attorney, New York 
  • DISROBED is a fascinating look at the real world of federal judges - and a revealing story about how the law works, and doesn’t, in America.” - Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Oath: The Obama White House vs. the Supreme Court 

The book is available for purchase here.

A link to NACDL’s July 16, 2012, podcast featuring Judge Frederic Block is available here.

To read more, please click here.

Bite Mark Evidence - Opportunity to Partner with The Innocence Project

THE INNOCENCE PROJECT (IP) is a national litigation and public policy organization based in New York dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.  As the DNA exonerations have revealed, the misapplication of forensic science has been a leading cause of wrongful convictions.  The newly created Strategic Litigation unit is aimed at, among other things, eliminating junk science from courtrooms nationwide, beginning with bite mark comparison evidence.  To that end, IP seeks to partner with an attorney(s) on criminal cases involving bite mark comparison.  Attorneys with cases meeting the following criteria should contact IP directly.  

  • Bite mark testimony is proffered by the government as evidence identifying the defendant to exclusion of all other potential sources
  • Pre-trial, trial, appellate or post-conviction cases:  The primary interest is assisting with pre-trial Frye/Daubert motions and hearings, but IP will consider bite mark cases in all stages of litigation
  • Other disciplines, in particular other pattern or impression evidence:  Although the initial focus is on bite marks, other novel, unvalidated disciplines will be considered. 
  • NOTE:  Strategic Litigation will consider cases with or without biological evidence, i.e., non-DNA cases. 

IP Attorney to contact is:
Chris Fabricant (cfabricant@innocenceproject.org)
40 Worth Street, Suite 701
New York, NY 10013

Federal Policy Update

Cybersecurity Update:

Efforts to pass cybersecurity legislation in the U.S. Senate failed this month when an amended majority bill was filibustered by a 52-45 vote.  The House passed cybersecurity legislation earlier this year.  It has been reported that the Obama administration is considering issuing an executive order on cybersecurity in light of the Senate inaction.  NACDL continues to monitor these efforts and challenge policies that would effect an end-run around the fourth amendment.

Where in the World is NACDL?

NACDL Resource Counsel Vanessa Antoun and former National Affairs Assistant Obaid Khan attended the July 26 and 27, 2012, hearings of the Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, held in San Francisco, California.

NACDL State Legislative Affairs Director Angelyn Frazer, Manager for Grassroots Advocacy Christopher Glen, Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan Dominguez, Indigent Defense Counsel John Gross, Associate Executive Director for Policy Kyle O’Dowd, Executive Director Norman Reimer,Champion Editor Quintin Chatman, and White Collar Crime Policy Counsel Tiffany Joslyn attended the 11th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference, held on July 26 and 27, 2012, in San Francisco, California.

NACDL Education Assistant Akvile Athanson, State Legislative Affairs Director Angelyn Frazer, Manager for Grassroots Advocacy Christopher Glen, Special Assistant to the Executive Director Daniel Weir, Education Assistant Doug Reale, Associate Executive Director for Programs Gerald Lippert, Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications Jack King,Sales & Marketing Manager JamesBergmann, Indigent Defense Counsel John Gross, Associate Executive Director for Policy Kyle O’Dowd, former Director of Institutional Development Malia Brink, National Security Coordinator Mason Clutter, Membership Director Michael Connor, Executive Director Norman Reimer, Champion Editor Quintin Chatman, former Marketing Manager Renee Harris-Etheridge, White Collar Crime Policy Director Shana-Tara Regon, White Collar Crime Policy Counsel Tiffany Joslyn, Deputy Executive Director Tom Chambers, and Resource Counsel Vanessa Antoun attended the 54th annual seminar and board meeting, held from July 26 to July 28, 2012, in San Francisco, California. They also attended the Foundation for Criminal Justice 50th Anniversary Gala in honor of Gideon v. Wainwright, held on July 27 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.

NACDL's White Collar Summer Series: "A Conversation With Abbe David Lowell" on August 23, 2012 - Attend Live or watch via Live Webcast, 5:30 pm ET.

A Conversation With Abbe David Lowell 

NACDL invites you to join us for a unique one-hour program with prominent defense attorney Abbe David Lowell as he discusses lessons learned from his defense of former U.S. presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards, former New York State Senator Joseph Bruno, former Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez, and other prominent politicians and public figures. By exploring the overcriminalization implications of such prosecutions, Lowell will seek to answer the question: Is the criminal law out of control?  

When: Thursday, August 23, 2012, at 5:30 pm ET.  There will be a Cocktail Reception preceding the program at 5:00 pm

Attend Live: Cocktail Reception 5:00pm / Presentation 5:30pm ET
Watch Live via Webcast: 5:30pm ET

Learn more about Abbe David Lowell: http://www.chadbourne.com/alowell/ 


1) NACDL Headquarters
    1660 L Street, NW
    12th Floor
    Washington, DC 20036

2) Online via Streaming Video 

Registration Fees: 

- FREE to attend live (registration required)
- FREE to participate remotely via Webcast (registration required)

Description: http://www.nacdl.org/assets/0/1875/2577/571592f2-3795-4bab-9c22-6bf9023025f2.jpg 

SAVE The DATE-NACDL’s next National Advocacy Call on Developing Legislation is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm EDT

Please Join NACDL, for a discussion on prison-based gerrymandering featuring Peter Wagner of the Prison Policy Initiative and Maryland Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk who sponsored the “No Representation Without Population Act” that passed the Maryland legislature in January 2010 and was subsequently signed by Governor Martin O’Malley on April 13, 2010. For more information click here.

SAVE The DATE-NACDL’s National Advocacy Call on Developing Legislation is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2012, from 12:00pm-1:00 pm EDT.

Topic: Bail Reform.
Speakers to be announced.

Stay Up-To-Date on NACDL News & Issues

DUI Listserve 
The focus of this listserve is DWI / DUI issues. Click here to learn how to subscribe and to review the listserv policies and guidelines.

Eyewitness Identification 
The focus of this listserve is eyewitness identification. In addition to open participation by NACDL members, NLADA members are invited guests to this listserve. Click here to learn how to subscribe and to review the listserv policies and guidelines.

Forensic Evidence Listserve 
The focus of this listserve is issues surrounding forensics. In addition to open participation by NACDL members, NLADA members are invited guests to this listserve. Click here to learn how to subscribe and to review the listserv policies and guidelines.

The Young & New Lawyers Listserve 
For criminal defense lawyers who are new to the profession or just starting out in private practice (generally, lawyers under 40 years of age, or in their first five years of practice). We also encourage you to participate if you are getting your start in private practice after spending time clerking, working as a DA or PD, or are leaving a firm to start your own practice. More experienced lawyers who have a gift and dedication to mentoring are encouraged to participate and offer advice and share their experience with younger colleagues. It's a place for attorneys getting their start - in whatever way - to get to know each other and to learn from more experienced colleagues. It is a forum where you can ask questions about all those things you need to know that they don't teach in law school. Click here to learn how to subscribe and to review the listserv policies and guidelines.

NACDL Listserve 
The NACDL Listserve helps facilitate discussion of criminal defense- related matters. Subscription is free and limited to active NACDL members. Click here to learn how to subscribe and to review the listserv policies and guidelines. So far, more than 700 members have joined.

Group Admission to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court

NACDL is sponsoring a unique opportunity for up to 12 members to participate in a group admission ceremony to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The opportunity will be available to the first 12 qualified members on a first-come, first-served basis and will take place on the morning of January 7, 2013. Members will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, must be in good standing of a state bar for a minimum of three years, and must submit their completed application materials to NACDL by November 9, 2012.

Interested members should contact Jack King, NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications, at (202) 465-7628 or jking@nacdl.org for further instructions.

Important Research Study

How do attorneys evaluate the credibility of expert witnesses in criminal cases? This is a critical question because expert testimony often plays an important role in determining the outcome of criminal cases.

NACDL and researchers at the University of North Dakota and Sam Houston State University are requesting your help with a survey to determine how attorneys make this assessment.

Your answers to the survey are completely confidential, and the survey only takes about 15 minutes to complete. The link for the survey can be found below.

Please go to the survey by clicking here.

Thank you very much for your help with the survey!

Grassroots Advocacy Mini-Survey

For NACDL to influence effectively public policy at the federal and state levels, membership is often asked to become engaged in the legislative process. Member involvement can prove key to an instrumental victory, and the lack thereof can doom a piece of legislation teetering on the edge of passage and irrelevance. In order to provide a pleasant and effective grassroots advocacy experience, NACDL is conducting an ultra-brief survey to gauge the current involvement level of our membership. Please take a minute to answer nine brief questions regarding your current involvement level, past advocacy efforts, and your willingness to participate in the future. All survey results are, and will remain, anonymous. The survey can be accessed here.

Grassroots Advocacy: Members in DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WV, Click Here!

NACDL is rolling out a new member engagement program in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The goal of the program, known as NACDL’s Member Legislative Engagement & Advocacy Development Program, or Member LEAD* Program for short, is to encourage and actively assist in the building and maintaining of relationships between NACDL members and their respective elected officials.

If you live in one of the targeted states and wish to develop a productive and viable relationship with your legislators, please contact NACDL’s Manager for Grassroots Advocacy Christopher Glen for more details be emailing him at cglen@nacdl.org.

Wrongful Conviction and Post-Conviction Relief Survey

Numerous inquiries have identified factors that contribute to wrongful convictions, including false confessions, eyewitness misidentification, and reliance on improperly analyzed evidence. However, the contributions of other factors, such as race, gender and geographic region, may not be as obvious. The purpose of this survey is to examine the interplay between race, region, and trial dynamics to determine the extent to which these factors contribute to wrongful convictions and their influence on access to post-conviction relief. The survey can be accessed by clicking here.

“The Criminal Docket” Weekly Podcast

On March 16, 2012, NACDL launched its new weekly podcast series, “The Criminal Docket,” hosted by Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL’s deputy director of public affairs & communications. Each week, “The Criminal Docket” provides a rundown of the highlights in criminal justice news from the prior week, and previews what’s coming up on the criminal docket in state and federal agencies, legislatures and the courts. In addition, every episode explores important items on the criminal justice agenda, in-depth, with top leaders in the legal practice, public policy, journalism, academia, and others whose lives intersect with the criminal justice system.

In the most recent episode, NACDL Public Affairs & Communications Intern Denise Tugade sits down with Holland & Knight Pro Bono Partner Stephen Hanlon and NACDL’s Indigent Defense Counsel John Gross to discuss the recent, landmark decision by the Missouri Supreme Court in the Missouri Public Defender Commission caseload litigation.

Please look for a new episode of “The Criminal Docket” each week, as well as all past episodes, available free of charge at either www.nacdl.org/thecriminaldocket or in Apple’s iTunes Store.

NACDLcle+ Mobile App Released

NACDL Edge NACDLcle+ is the official mobile app for NACDL's industry-leading Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programming. With NACDLcle+, you have on-the-go mobile access to our upcoming CLE calendar, on-site conference agendas, faculty bios, venue maps, exhibitor information, andthe ability to down In the App Storeload conference materials. NACDLcle+ also puts browsing our extensive library of self-study resources in the NACDL Store at your fingertips. Enjoy 24/7 access to all things CLE-all in the palm of your hand!

Download from iTunes | Learn More 

NACDL's Daily Criminal Justice Briefing

NACDL now offers a terrific and free member benefit from NACDL's Public Affairs and Communications Office: NACDL's Daily Criminal Justice Briefing. Each morning, Briefing Editors Jack King and Ivan Dominguez collect and compile news items of particular interest to the criminal defense bar from around the world and provide links and summaries in a daily email update. In addition, subscribers receive breaking news stories and links to Supreme Court decisions as they happen. The goal is to provide the resources necessary to ensure that the criminal defense bar is informed and current on a wide range of criminal justice news, legal developments, analysis, and commentary.

So far, nearly 1,200 NACDL members have subscribed to the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing. If you would like to join them, simply click here

JUST ONE: One word. One call. Just one referral.

You can make a difference in the career of a criminal defense lawyer. Take a moment to refer another lawyer to America’s best-connected and most knowledgeable criminal defense bar association. After all, most NACDL members were introduced by a colleague…now it’s your turn to pass it on! Make your one referral today!

Special Introductory Offer: New members you refer get 3 extra months of full member benefits FREE! That’s 15 MONTHS OF NACDL MEMBERSHIP for the price of 12!  

(Open to new members only)

How you benefit: For every new member you recruit, you will receive a $25 discount off your next year's dues - up to a total of $125 - and earn a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire. 

Visit: www.nacdl.org/getamember you'll find talking points on the value of membership, sample tweets and Facebook updates, and a specially coded membership application that will give your friend 3 months of NACDL member benefits FREE. 

You can make a difference. One word. One call. That's all it takes.  

Contribute to the NACDL Brief & Motion Bank today!

One of the great benefits you get as a member of NACDL is the Brief & Motion Bank, containing almost 400 documents across over 50 topics. We hope you will also help to strengthen it for the benefit of other members. Do you have a unique or exceptional brief or motion? Maybe one that involved an in-depth discussion of the case law, had an especially creative argument, or addressed an unusual situation? Just as using the NACDL Brief & Motion Bank saves you time, so you don’t have to start from scratch when you are already pressed for time, documents you donate to the bank will help your fellow NACDL members in the same way.

We encourage submissions on any topic. Please take a look at what's there, and think about what documents you've written that would enhance the value of the Brief & Motion Bank for other NACDL members. If you would like more information or to contribute to the Brief & Motion Bank, please contact NACDL's Resource Counsel Vanessa Antoun at vantoun@nacdl.org.

Recent Amicus Curiae Briefs Posted on NACDL Website 

People v. Caballero, Cal., No. S190647, case below 119 Cal.Rptr. 920 (Cal.App. 2011), brief filed 10/28/11. Decided 08/16/12. Juveniles-Sentencing-Eighth Amendment-Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Amicus curiae brief of the Juvenile Law Center, Human Rights Advocates, Human Rights Watch, the Loyola Law School Center for Law and Policy, and the Disability Rights Legal Center filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the defendant-appellant. Argument: Sentencing a juvenile to imprisonment - a term of years - with a parole eligibility date that falls past his natural life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Authors: Constance de la Vega, et al., Newman International Human Rights Law Clinic, U.C.S.F. School of Law; Maureen Pacheco, Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, Los Angeles; Jessica R. Feierman, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia; Elizabeth M. Calvin, Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles; and Paula Pearlman and Shawna Parks, Disability Rights Legal Center, Los Angeles.

Sessoms v. Runnels, 9th Cir. (en banc), No. 08-17790 reversing 650 F.3d 1276 (9th Cir. 2011), brief filed 7/28/2011. Decided 08/16/12. Miranda-Invocation of Right to Counsel During Questioning. Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of the petition for rehearing en banc. Argument: No “magic words” are required to invoke the right to counsel; the panel and the California court of appeals erred in holding that the defendant failed to “unambiguously invoke his right to counsel” under Davis v. United States. The defendant, 19-year-old Tio Sessoms, surrendered himself to police for questioning and was read his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, and asked if there were “any possible way” he could have a lawyer present during questioning. When the detective hesitated, Sessoms said, “Yeah, that’s what my dad asked me to ask you guys . . . uh, give me a lawyer.” The detective persevered in convincing Sessoms that the only way to tell his side of the story was to waive his right to counsel. Defense counsel moved unsuccessfully to have his statement suppressed, and the state court of appeals upheld his conviction. NACDL argued that the state court’s decision was contrary to and an unreasonable application of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and that rehearing en banc was necessary to make clear that the police tactic of questioning “outside Miranda” is improper. Authors: Mark E. Haddad and Douglas A. Axel, Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles, Peter C. Pfaffenroth, HL Rogers and Brian A. Fox, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC, and David M. Porter, Office of the Federal Defender, Sacramento, CA.

Shaygan v. United States, U.S. Sup. Ct., No. 12-44, case below 652 F.3d 1297 (11th Cir. 2011), reh’g en banc denied, 676 F.3d 1237 (11th Cir. 2012); brief filed 8/10/12. Attorney’s Fees-Hyde Amendment-Federal Court-Right to Counsel. Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of the petition for certiorari. Argument: Fee awards under the Hyde Amendment, which allow acquitted defendants to recover some of the financial damage they incur from having faced a criminal prosecution undertaken by the government which has been shown to be “vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith,” are a needed check against prosecutorial misconduct. The Hyde Amendment authorizes an award of attorney’s fees even where probable cause existed to support the filing of criminal charges; the Eleventh Circuit’s cramped interpretation of the statute will have a chilling effect on zealous advocacy, endangering defendants’ Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel. Authors: Paul R.Q. Wolfson, Shirley Cassin Woodward and Susan S. Friedman, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC, and Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.

NACDL on Twitter

NACDL has an official Twitter account, @NACDL, and now has 1,856 followers. Getting set up on Twitter is easy and free, just visit http://twitter.com/ and click "Get Started -- Join." You can even watch an instructional video by clicking the "Watch a Video" button on the top right of the welcome screen before you join. Once you have set up your account, click "Find People" on the top right hand side of the screen and search for "NACDL" (no quotation marks necessary). Then, you just need to click the "Follow" button. Thereafter, everything we post to Twitter will come through on your Home page feed, like a news wire service. You can also check out NACDL's Tweet by simply clicking http://twitter.com/NACDL

It is suggested that you familiarize yourself with the "terms" of use to which you can link from the bottom of the screen on Twitter. Also, please note that the fact of your following NACDL on Twitter, as well as your posts, are generally visible to the public. Information about blocking people from following you, as well as all other information concerning privacy and usage issues, is available on the Twitter site. 

Please send any thoughts or recommendations about NACDL's Twitter presence to NACDL's Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at idominguez@nacdl.org.

NACDL on Facebook

NACDL is on Facebook. Recently, Facebook changed the way member groups operate, so to keep up with all of NACDL's updates, please be sure to "like" the NACDL Public Page (http://www.facebook.com/NACDL), which now counts 2,232 fans following NACDL's work. Through this initiative, selected NACDL content such as press releases, CLE information and materials, information on becoming a member, and similar publicly-available NACDL content, is being distributed through Facebook.

You should be aware that, to some degree, Facebook permits you to control what information others see about you on Facebook. Just go to "account" on the top right and within that "privacy settings" as you set up or adjust your account settings. Please be aware that, if you join, you will be listed on Facebook as a member of this group and your profile will be accessible in accordance with your settings and Facebook's policies. So be sure to fully acquaint yourself with Facebook's terms of service and privacy representations as you carefully consider whether to join and, if you do, what information you post, exchange, or message through this platform. 

You can use this link to get directly to NACDL's Public Page. And if you are not on Facebook, signing up is free and easy at www.facebook.com. Please send your thoughts or recommendations about NACDL's presence on Facebook to NACDL's Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at idominguez@nacdl.org.

Recent NACDL Letters and Member Testimony

July 30, 2012, Coalition Letter on the Leahy Amendment to the Cybersecurity Act 

June 18, 2012,  NACDL Letter to Senator Dick Durbin  on “Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences” 

June 15, 2012, Coalition Sign-On Letter Re Leaks of Highly Classified Information 

June 11, 2012,  Coalition Sign-On Letter Re Sunset of FISA Amendments Act of 2008 

June 5, 2012, Coalition Letter on “Ensuring that Federal Prosecutors Meet Discovery Obligations” 

NACDL's Newest Affinity Partner: Push Legal

NACDL members receive 20% off this mobile and desktop app. PUSH:legal provides a mobile law library right on your smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Access searchable statutes and rules - with annotated case law - quickly and easily. Click here to learn more.

Save Up to 26% on FedEx Office and FedEx Delivery Services 

NACDL members can already save up to 26% on select FedEx® shipping services. Now you're entitled to save up to 20% on select FedEx OfficeSM copy and print services and 10% off other select services at more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations. It's now even easier for you to save time and money with FedEx. Sign-up is free, and there are no shipping, copy or print minimums. For more information or to enroll in this program, please click here and enter pass code 984K22 or call 1-800-MEMBERS, your dedicated shipping program administrator at 1.800.636.2377 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST, M-F).

*FedEx shipping discounts are off standard list rates and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Shipping discounts are exclusive of any FedEx surcharges, premiums or special handling fees and are not available to package consolidators. Eligibility for discounts subject to FedEx credit approval. Eligible services subject to change. Base discounts on FedEx Express® are 15%-21%. An additional 5% discount is available for eligible FedEx Express shipments when you ship online at fedex.com. Discounts are subject to change.

Questions, comments or news items?

E-mail or call Director of Public Affairs & Communications Jack King at (202) 465-7628 or E-mail or call Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan Dominguez at (202) 465-7662.

Please feel free to pass along the E-NEWS to friends. Ask them to click here to become a member.


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