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NACDL E-News

March 30, 2015; Vol. 14 No. 03

NACDL to Host Free Symposium on the Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

On Friday, April 3, NACDL and the Foundation for Criminal Justice, along with the American University Washington College of Law, and the Criminal Law Practitioner will hold a one-day symposium: "The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age.'' Scholars, policy experts, and practitioners will convene for an open discussion about how digital searches, government surveillance programs and new technologies are impacting Fourth Amendment protections in criminal cases. The event will also be recorded and live-streamed. Detailed information, including an agenda and how to register and view the event's live-stream, is available here.

 

NACDL Presenting Free Webinar: 'Reexamining the Grand Jury: Prosecutors, Police, and Race'

On Tuesday, March 31, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm ET, NACDL will present a free webinar, "Reexamining the Grand Jury: Prosecutors, Police, and Race." The grand jury has long drawn criticism for failing to serve its purpose as a shield against unwarranted charges. Recently a new charge has been leveled: that prosecutorial influence over the grand jury permits law enforcement misconduct to go unpunished. Both facets of the issue will be discussed in turn by two distinguished panels of experts. Register to view the webinar here.

 

NACDL Joins Lawsuit to Stop Mass Government Surveillance

On March 10, NACDL joined a major new lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass interception and searching of Americans' international Internet communications, including emails, web-browsing content, and search-engine queries. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and focuses on the NSA's "upstream" surveillance techniques.

In a statement to the media, NACDL President Theodore Simon said: "As president of the nation's criminal defense bar, I am particularly concerned with how such surveillance programs violate attorney-client privilege. The privacy of attorneys' communications with their clients is necessary to our notion of a fair justice system. The dragnet surveillance programs make ensuring attorney-client privilege difficult if not impossible. The mass and indiscriminate surveillance of Americans by the government must end."

A copy of the complaint is available here.

 

Clemency Project 2014: A Historically Unprecedented and Wholly Independent Volunteer Effort by the Nation's Bar

Clemency Project 2014 is a working group composed of lawyers and advocates including the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties UnionFamilies Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations. It launched in January 2014, after Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole called on the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentence if they had been sentenced today.

In less than a year, Clemency Project 2014 has organized an army of volunteer lawyers who are diligently working on behalf of thousands of prisoners who have requested free legal assistance in drafting and submitting clemency petitions. Since its conception, Clemency Project 2014 has created a training and case management infrastructure to prepare and support the diverse set of lawyers now engaged in the project.

Please join this historic opportunity to reverse the unduly harsh prison sentences that were imposed upon so many. To volunteer, please visit www.clemencyproject2014.org.

 

NACDL Opposed Utah's Death by Firing Squad Legislation

Earlier this month, NACDL strongly urged Utah Governor Gary Herbert to veto House Bill 11, which amended Utah's death penalty statute to reinstate executions by firing squad. Utah had abolished execution by firing squad in 2004, but on March 23, the Governor approved the new legislation. Only one other state in the nation – Oklahoma – has a law that permits execution by this method. No other developed nation permits execution by firing squad.

In a letter sent on behalf of the Association, NACDL President Theodore Simon is clear: NACDL's long-standing position is that it opposes the imposition of capital punishment in all its forms and under all circumstances. The Association's letter was featured in the Salt Lake Tribune.

 

Free Training for Lawyers Handling Post-Conviction Innocence Claims

Join NACDL on April 30, in Orlando, Florida for Science, Cell Phones and Social Media – Finding & Using Evidence of Innocence in Post-Conviction Cases. NACDL, in collaboration with the Innocence Network, presents this exciting new training specifically for lawyers who handle post-conviction innocence cases. It will begin with statistics for lawyers – a necessary foundation to challenge unreliable forensics. Experts will also provide state-of-the-art instruction on topics essential for today's post-conviction litigation: low level DNA mixtures and cell phone tower evidence. In addition, experienced faculty will focus on all aspects of finding and working with experts, including direct and cross examination of experts in post-conviction hearings. The cutting-edge instruction extends to investigation in a session on uncovering evidence of innocence via social media and online sources. This program is FREE for approved applicants. A limited number of travel scholarships are available and will be awarded on a rolling basis until filled. For more information and a registration application, click here.

 

Indigent Defense Training Program

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL's Indigent Defense Department will select two jurisdictions to provide on-site training to public defenders and/or private assigned counsel regularly engaged in indigent criminal defense. In order to select the jurisdictions, an application procedure has been created for organizations or entities involved in the delivery of indigent defense services to solicit NACDL for training programs. Ideally, training programs in jurisdictions with full-time public defender or legal services offices will also include providers of conflict representation, including alternate defender offices and contract or court-appointed counsel. More information about the training programs and selection criteria is available on the application form, which can be found on NACDL's Indigent Defense page.

Interested organizations/entities should complete the training application and may, if desired, submit no more than three letters of interest (from prospective participants, administrators, court personnel, or others) supporting the need for and interest in a training program. Where appropriate, organizations are encouraged to coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions to solicit a program with maximum impact. Although the published deadline is March 31, requests received after that time may still be considered for this or future training opportunities.

NACDL Submits Comments on Sentencing Guidelines

On March 18, NACDL submitted comments to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the 2015 Proposed Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines. NACDL’s comments were prepared by NACDL’s Sentencing Committee, which is chaired by JaneAnne Murray and Marjorie Peerce, and NACDL’s White Collar Crime Committee, under the leadership of Vice Chair Josh Cohen.

A complete copy of the comments can be found here.

 

Esteemed Defense Attorney Hank Asbill Receives White Collar Criminal Defense Award from NACDL, Stetson Law

On Saturday, March 14, NACDL and Stetson Law presented Jones Day partner Hank Asbill with the 2015 White Collar Criminal Defense Award. Asbill received his award during NACDL's White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla. NACDL and Stetson co-present the award annually to individuals who have made a profound impact on the field of white collar criminal defense advocacy.

 

Experts and Briefs Needed for Cases Involving People with Mental Disabilities

The Mental Health Committee plans to enhance the resources on NACDL's website for attorneys representing clients with mental disabilities. It is seeking names of qualified experts as well as briefs and other filings in this area. If you have an expert to recommend, please forward the name, contact information, and web address if available to Richard Jaffe (rjaffe@jaffelaw.com) and Ken Murray (kmurray@texasdefender.org). Also, please include a concise description of the expert's area (e.g., specializes in Asperger's.)  If you have a brief or other filing to submit, please send to Stephen Ross Johnson (johnson@rddjlaw.com) and Kari Reardon (kreardon@spokanecounty.org). Please include a statement that NACDL has permission to post this work.  If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Kelley, Mental Health Committee Chair (ZealousAdvocacy@aol.com). 

 

New Guidelines Set Forth Standard in Representing Children Facing Life Sentences

Earlier this month, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth released the first-ever guidelines for representing children who face our country's harshest penalty. NACDL was one of a number of organizations to collaborate with the Campaign on the drafting of Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence (pdf). NACDL's Board of Directors endorsed the Guidelines last month with a specific recommendation that "in any jurisdiction which permits the imposition of life sentences upon a child, the public and private defense bar should advocate to ensure that these standards are implemented and that the jurisdictions prosecuting those cases provide adequate resources to ensure compliance with these guidelines." 

 

NACDL Election Announcements

Special Election in April: NACDL's Board of Directors will conduct a special election at its 2015 Spring Meeting to fill one vacant position on the Board of Directors.

2015 NACDL Election: Meanwhile, NACDL's 2015 regular election is also underway. In 2015, NACDL will elect 13 members of the Board of Directors, in addition to the President-Elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Secretary positions.

NACDL members interested in candidacy or the election in general should visit www.nacdl.org/elections.

 

NACDL State Criminal Justice Network Seeks Nominations for the Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award

The NACDL Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award recognizes an individual or group whose exceptional efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system. Please click here to download criteria for 2015 award. Nominations are due June 19.

 

New Affinity Partner Saves You $$ on Your Next Car Rental

Advantage Car Rental is now an NACDL affinity partner. NACDL members get 10% off the already low published Internet rates.

The discount has no blackout dates and is good throughout the year. When you use Advantage, NACDL receives royalties from your rental. Book a car today. Click here for more info and the discount code: http://www.nacdl.org/CostSavings/.

 

In Other News

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Dates and Times for Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming CLE Events
View the Calendar

Recent Updates to Restoration of Rights Project
View Restoration of Rights Project

Employment Opportunities
View Employment Opportunities

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