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April 30, 2013; Vol. 12 No. 4

NACDLConnect Launch

NACDLConnect E-News Banner

NACDL is getting ready to launch NACDLConnect, NACDL’s new online member discussion community. NACDLConnect will replace the existing listserves. The new system will give NACDL members myriad options for connecting with other members to network, share information and strategize together for the benefit of the profession and your clients. One feature NACDL is particularly excited about is the option for members to include a photograph in their profile. The photo will display online and in messages posted to the discussion communities. As NACDLConnect prepares to launch, members are invited to upload a photograph to their profile. To do so, please login here and follow the links to “add image.” More detailed instructions can be found here


NACDL Launches Domestic Drone Information Center

NACDL today launched a new web resource, the Domestic Drone Information Center. NACDL’s Domestic Drone Information Center aims to be a one-stop source of cutting-edge information on the use of drones inside the United States. It collects news from leading publications across the nation; features a comprehensive listing of legislative developments; and contains sections devoted to relevant case law, scholarship, upcoming events, and data on drone usage. The Domestic Drone Information Center also aggregates existing material from other websites, making it a launching pad to additional information about domestic drones on the web.

As domestic drones become an issue of increasing concern – the FAA predicts that 30,000 drones will be deployed within 20 years – we hope that you find this material useful. Please contact us at drones@nacdl.org if you are aware of important drone information that we have not yet added. Visit the Domestic Drone Information Center at nacdl.org/domesticdrones. This project is supported by the Foundation for Criminal Justice and the Open Society Foundations. 


NACDL Comments to FAA on Drone Privacy

On April 23, NACDL submitted comments to the Federal Aviation Administration on the privacy and civil liberty implications of drone use at six to-be-determined test sites in the United States. The comments highlight NACDL’s white paper on Electronic Surveillance & Government Access to Third Party Records, as well as NACDL’s model legislation on law enforcement use of domestic drones. Except in very limited circumstances, NACDL believes that law enforcement must secure a warrant based on probable cause before it may obtain evidence of a crime through the use of drone surveillance technology. 


NACDL Reminds Public that the Constitution Still Applies in Cases of Alleged Domestic Terrorism

On April 22, NACDL issued a statement supporting the use of America’s civilian criminal justice system for cases of alleged domestic terrorism and reiterating its opposition to any expansion the “public safety exception” to Miranda v. Arizona. The narrow “public safety exception” permits law enforcement to temporarily interrogate suspects without providing them their constitutionally-mandated Miranda warning in emergency situations. As NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said: “The ‘public safety exception’ is precisely that – an emergency exception. It cannot become the rule for any category of alleged criminal conduct without undermining the Constitution. In addition, the suggestion that Tsarnaev be treated as an enemy combatant or diverted out of the civilian criminal justice system would amount to a radical suspension of due process and NACDL opposes it.”

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CISPA Passes House

On April 18, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) by a vote of 288-127. The bill was passed in the face of a veto threat from the Obama administration due to serious privacy concerns related to the bill’s information sharing provisions. NACDL opposed CISPA due to serious Fourth Amendment and privacy concerns. NACDL will continue to follow cybersecurity legislation in the Senate and promote our six principles for cybersecurity legislation to protect fundamental Fourth Amendment rights. 


NACDL Launches Social Media Component to “The Campaign to End Overcriminalization in America”

On March 18, 2013, NACDL launched a social media campaign to support the Association’s and others’ well-established work combatting overcriminalization in America. This communications effort led by NACDL’s Public Affairs & Communications Department uses social media to bring a steady stream of facts, insight, commentary, and analysis specifically on the crisis of overcriminalization in America, how we got here, and how we can put an end to this problem devastating the lives of millions and undermining the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution. Please visit and follow the campaign’s facebook and twitter pages. 


Warrant for Content Passes Judiciary Committee

On April 25, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act, which would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before it can access electronic communications held by a third party provider. NACDL strongly supports this requirement. If ultimately enacted, this will be the most significant amendment in over 25 years to the ECPA, which now only requires a warrant for content of emails less than 180 days old 


NACDL Supports Delaware Effort to Repeal the Death Penalty

NACDL submitted a statement earlier this month to the Delaware House of Representatives in support of SB 19, legislation to repeal the death penalty in Delaware. Hearings on the legislation took place on April 24 in the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate narrowly passed repeal legislation in March. At the time of publication, the House bill remains in committee.

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Bi-Partisan Safety Valve Legislation Introduced in Senate and House

On March 20th, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Rand Paul introduced S. 619, the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013. If enacted, this legislation would create a broad safety valve that would allow judges to sentence federal offenders below the mandatory minimum sentence in such instances where the minimum term does not fulfill the goals of punishment, such as keeping the public safe, providing a just punishment for the crime, providing rehabilitation, and deterring others from committing crimes. The Safety Valve prescribed in the legislation would apply to all federal crimes carrying a mandatory minimum sentence.  On April 24th, Representative Bobby Scott and Representative Thomas Massie introduced HR 1695, companion legislation identical to the Senate bill. 


12th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference

The 12th Annual State Criminal Justice Network (SCNJ) Conference, “Turning the Tide: Victories and Opportunities in Criminal Justice Reform,” takes places July 25-26, 2013 in San Francisco in conjunction with NACDL’s Annual Meeting. The goal of this conference is to examine significant legislative victories and utilize them for further efforts, as public opinion increasingly reflects support for criminal justice reform.

The conference will feature panels on protecting the Fourth Amendment, indigent defense, social media, overincarceration, race in criminal justice system, juvenile justice post-Miller and Graham, and collateral consequences of a conviction. On Friday, July 26, the SCJN will feature the documentary entitled Broken on All Sides, a film that focuses on mass incarceration across the nation and the intersection of race and poverty within the criminal justice system. See the trailer here. We are also pleased have special guests Susan Burton, Executive Director of A New Way of Life and CNN Hero; Matt Pillicher, Director of the documentary film Broken on All Sides; and Nancy Mullane Author of Life After Murder, as well as, subjects in her book who will share insights into their lives post murder/conviction-incarceration-parole process. Please find more information about special guests and the overall conference here.

2013 Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award
The State Legislative Affairs Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award. The award recognizes an individual or group whose exceptional efforts have led to positive changes to reform a state criminal justice system. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday May 31, 2013. The award will be presented on Thursday July 25, 2013 at the SCJN conference. The 2013 criteria sheet can be downloaded here.
Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction
The Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction will host hearings in New York Wednesday, May 15, 2013 through Friday, May 17, 2013. This is the last hearing of the Task Force. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend any portion of the hearing to the extent their schedules allow. Please contact Elsa Ohman at eohman@nacdl.org if you would like to attend. 
NACDL Elections
No petitions for nomination to NACDL’s Board of Directors or to open officer positions were submitted. Pursuant to Article VIII, Section 3(b) of the NACDL bylaws, at the Annual Membership Meeting the slate of the Nominating Committee will be declared elected by acclamation. For more information regarding the 2013 NACDL election, see www.nacdl.org/elections.

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