The Champion

March 2016 , Page 09 

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Inside NACDL: One Last Opportunity to Be a Liberator - A Personal Plea From a Fellow Defense Lawyer

By Norman L. Reimer

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If you are reading this column, there is an extremely high probability that you are a practicing criminal defense lawyer. If so, you are part of a small, select segment of the American bar who knows what it is to bear personal responsibility for an individual’s freedom.

Most of the criminal defense lawyers that I have known are the most dedicated, committed, and honorable women and men in our great profession. We know what it means to represent the innocent, the maybe innocent or maybe guilty, and the surely guilty. Yet, we also know that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is not reserved for the innocent. Indeed, while defending a person who may be innocent is the most challenging and fearful of undertakings, we also recognize that standing up for the dignity of an individual whose guilt may be beyond question is no less important.

It was in that spirit that NACDL partnered with other groups to set up Clemency Project 2014 — a collaboration with the American Bar A

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