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NACDL E-News

August 27, 2014; Vol. 13 No. 08

Volunteer for the Clemency Project

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an initiative to entertain petitions for clemency from inmates whose sentences would, due to intervening changes in law or policy, be shorter had they been sentenced today. NACDL heeded the call by the DOJ for the bar to step up to help in this unprecedented undertaking, and came together with the ACLU, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the ABA, and the Federal and Community Defenders to create Clemency Project 2014.

While more than 1,000 volunteer attorneys have already stepped up to volunteer, the Project wants to see even more practitioners join the effort to represent the thousands of federal inmates who have sought our assistance. At this very moment, Project staff is organizing and analyzing data from the BOP (20,000 inmate requests) and from direct mail (more than 1,500 inmate requests) and already assigning case files to trained volunteers.

The Project has a website where you can learn more about the initiative, including the DOJ's criteria for this initiative and links to where you can sign up to volunteer and get the necessary training via on-demand video -- https://clemencyproject2014.org/.

 

Senator Ted Stevens' Defense Attorney Releases Behind-the-Scenes Account of 2008 Trial and Unlawful Prosecution

On September 16, Rob Cary, a defense attorney for Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, released a new book – Not Guilty: The Unlawful Prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (NACDL Press/Thomson Reuters) – recounting the trial six years ago of a powerful senator.

On Oct. 27, 2008, Stevens was wrongfully found guilty of allegedly failing to disclose gifts, leading him to lose reelection just eight days later by 3,953 votes. But in April 2009, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan vacated the verdict at the request of Attorney General Eric Holder after it was revealed that prosecutors had withheld evidence of innocence from the defense. More than the story of a trial, Cary details how a federal prosecution team conspired to bring down Stevens by hiding evidence and manipulating facts.

A short video about the book featuring Cary is available online by clicking here. NACDL's The Criminal Docket podcast series also has a new episode featuring Cary and the book, available here. The book is available for purchase at www.nacdl.org/nacdlpress.

 

Special Election Notice

NACDL’s Board of Directors will fill four vacant seats in a special election to be conducted at the Board’s Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 2014. For information on submitting candidacy materials, please see www.nacdl.org/elections.

 

DOJ Acts Boldly In Case to Expose Indigent Defense Deficiencies

With the nation's indigent defense system mired in a persistent crisis of underfunding as a result of the failure of the states to enforce the Supreme Court's landmark Sixth Amendment right to counsel decision in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the Department of Justice has acted boldly in a case that seeks to expose the resulting deficiencies. In the case of Hurrell-Harring et al. v. New York, a class action brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union challenging systemic deficiencies in the indigent defense services in several New York counties, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the federal government, filed a Statement of Interest in the pending litigation on September 25.

In its filing, the DOJ, while not taking a position on the merits of plaintiffs' claims in this particular case, declared that the right to counsel "is so fundamental to the operation of the criminal justice system that its diminishment erodes the principles of liberty and justice that underpin all of our civil rights in criminal proceedings." (See page 8.) The filing further makes the point "The United States has an interest in ensuring that all jurisdictions – federal, state, and local – are fulfilling their obligation under the Constitution to provide effective assistance of counsel to individuals facing criminal charges who cannot afford an attorney, as required by Gideon." (See page 2.)

Read more about the statement of interest here.

 

Diane DePietropaolo Price Appointed Indigent Defense Training Manager for Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

On September 3, NACDL announced the appointment of Diane DePietropaolo Price as indigent defense training manager. In this role, Ms. Price supports NACDL’s Indigent Defense Department and its broad efforts to support indigent defense providers across America. She also develops live and recorded trainings for public and private defenders who represent the indigent accused and will coordinate trainings in consultation with a national working group of public defense leaders and training experts.

Ms. Price has dedicated her career to working on behalf of poor people accused of crimes as an Assistant Public Defender for the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office in Charlotte, N.C. In addition to advocating on behalf of her clients, Ms. Price also developed training materials for the Mecklenburg County Bar that were designed to assist attorneys taking indigent cases for either conflict or because of overload. Price is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and completed her B.A. at Western Carolina University.

NACDLConnect v. 2.0: Get Connected with Your Colleagues!

Network, exchange information, and discuss strategy with some of America's best-connected, most knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers! We are happy to announce major updates to the functionality of NACDLConnect, based on feedback from NACDL members!

  • Post and reply via email, whether in plain text, digest, or real-time mode
  • Add file attachments to your post from your email client
  • Better handling of cookies to keep you logged into the system
  • New email format: Responsive design adjusts to optimize display for your device!

Get details and get engaged on NACDLConnect at http://connect.nacdl.org/faq1

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

NACDL is once again pleased to sponsor an opportunity for up to 12 members to participate in a group admission ceremony to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Participation in this ceremony, in which admittees are administered the oath of admission by the Chief Justice of the United States in the well of the Supreme Court, 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 20, 2015. Members will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, must be in good standing with a state bar for a minimum of three years, and must submit their completed application materials to NACDL by November 14, 2014.

Interested members should contact Elsa-Maria Ohman, NACDL’s National Affairs Assistant, at (202) 465-7638 or eohman@nacdl.org, for further instructions.

 

Apply to Join the International Affairs Committee

NACDL's International Affairs Committee (IAC) invites members interested in addressing issues of concern to domestic criminal lawyers who are involved in cross-border representation issues, and those who are concerned about and involved (or want to become involved) in international criminal defense issues, to join the committee. 

In the past, the IAC has issued reports and suggested resolutions to the Board concerning developments and situations which have occurred in the international criminal tribunals and relating to developments in international criminal jurisprudence. In particular, for example, the IAC has kept NACDL abreast of developments in the International Criminal Tribunals and the International Criminal Court. The IAC has drafted and the NACDL Board passed resolutions in favor of the formation of the International Criminal Bar, the United States' participation in the International Criminal Court, and the protection of defense attorney Peter Erlinder when he was arrested in Rwanda. The IAC was also the US focal point for NACDL’s positioning with regard to the indictment of Turkish lawyers and Bar Leaders in Istanbul.

If you have an interest in this area of the law and would like to join and participate in Committee activities, please email Dan Arshack or Ted Simon (co-chairs of the  IAC) at dan@lawAHL.com  or tsimonesq1@aol.com or call Dan at 212-582-6500. All are also welcome at the IAC’s next meeting, which will take place in Washington D.C. on November 8, 2014, following NACDL's Board Meeting.

Job Opening: Privacy and National Security Counsel

NACDL is seeking a Privacy and National Security Counsel. The Privacy and National Security Counsel pursues initiatives to identify and oppose the erosion of Fourth Amendment protections and prevent the misuse of national security and electronic surveillance laws in derogation of fundamental liberties. In furtherance of this effort, the Privacy and National Security Counsel harnesses the resources and experience of NACDL membership in developing litigation strategies and pursues collaborative arrangements with other entities. The Privacy and National Security Counsel seeks to forge partnerships among the criminal defense bar, the civil bar, independent experts, and the legal academy to expand resources that will support efforts to rein in government abuse and safeguard the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.

For more information please see the full position announcement.

 

In Other News

Upcoming CLE Events
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Recent Updates to Restoration of Rights Project
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Employment Opportunities
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