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NACDL E-News

June 29, 2016; Vol. 15 No. 06

NACDL Releases Symposium Report on The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

On June 8, 2016, NACDL released its symposium report on "The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age."

To address the new threats to privacy posed by the digital age, NACDL, the Foundation for Criminal Justice, the American University Washington College of Law, and the Criminal Law Practitioner presented a symposium entitled "The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age." Criminal law practitioners, scholars, and technology experts discussed how digital searches, government surveillance programs, and new technologies are impacting Fourth Amendment protections in criminal cases as well as litigation strategies to challenge these developing threats to privacy.

This report, prepared by University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Professor Andrew G. Ferguson, offers an overview of the symposium and the substantive areas of concern related to new technological and legal changes that impact privacy in the digital age. In addition, the report offers detailed recommendations concerning legal strategy, public education, legislative advocacy, and policy in this area.

"As the technology available to governments evolves, so too must we understand its potential to invade privacy in ways never imagined by the drafters of the Fourth Amendment, but most certainly contrary to the limitations on government power that they envisioned," said NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris. "The defense bar must be equipped to challenge the use of these practices through sophisticated litigation strategies. This symposium, and the publicly-available report it generated, are important steps in furtherance of these objectives."

Read more here.

President Obama Announces Third Set of Clemency Grants in Just Over Two Months

In his third set of clemency grants in just over two months, on June 3, 2016, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 42 prisoners, 25 of whom were applicants whose petitions were supported by Clemency Project 2014. Of those 25 that came through the Project, 14 were serving life sentences.

Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014, said: "[These] grants, on the heels of 119 grants between March 30 and May 5, are certainly encouraging both to those awaiting word on their petitions and to the thousands of volunteer lawyers across the nation who are assisting them. On behalf of the Project and the many deserving people it serves, I want to express gratitude to President Obama for [these] grants. We look forward to many more."

Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, independent effort by the nation's bar, has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of over 30,000 of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who have requested volunteer assistance. As of today, Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 1,350 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney, with many more nearing submission.

For more information and to volunteer for Clemency Project 2014, please visit ww.clemencyproject2014.org.

Supreme Court Rejects Government’s Expansive Interpretation of “Official Act”; Vacates and Remands in Case of Former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell

In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, on June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the government's expansive interpretation of what constitutes an impermissible "official act" under the federal bribery statute, the Hobbs Act, and the federal honest-services statute.

The government had alleged that "official acts" for the purposes of these statutes included merely arranging meetings, making introductions and hosting events in connection with the business interests of a constituent, Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams, from whom the McDonnells accepted loans, gifts and other benefits. Governor McDonnell, per the opinion, contended "that merely setting up a meeting, hosting an event, or contacting an official—without more—does not count as an 'official act.'" The Court agreed, holding that "[t]aking into account the text of the statute, the precedent of this Court, and the constitutional concerns raised by Governor McDonnell, we reject the Government's reading of §201(a)(3) and adopt a more bounded interpretation of 'official act.' Under that interpretation, setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an 'official act.'"

"Once again, it has taken the U.S. Supreme Court to remind prosecutors that they do not have a blank check to read all kinds of unintended, and overly broad criminality into vaguely worded statutes passed by Congress." said NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris. "As NACDL argued it its amicus brief to the Supreme Court, criminal statutes should not permit the arbitrary criminalization of conduct without meaningful definition or limitation."

Read more here.

Register Now for the 15th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference

Please join the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) for The Revolution Will Not Be Criminalized: Inspiring a Movement for Criminal Justice Reform. It takes place in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12. SCJN provides a medium to exchange information, share resources, and develop strategies for promoting rational and humane criminal justice policies. In addition, it seeks to educate the general public about the many issues that influence, and policies that affect the criminal justice system. Attached, please find the most updated agenda and registration form.

The conference will include:

Special Features:  

  • Awarding of Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award 
  • Conversation with Nkechi Taifa, Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice, OSF and former NACDL President, Gerald Lefcourt featured in The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution on the Black Panther Movement of yesterday and the Black Lives Matter Movement of today 
  • Screening and discussion of state sanctioned and extrajudicial killing through a racial lens. 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets. The story of Jordan Davis featuring discussion with his parents Ron Davis and Lucy McBath.
  • Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich discusses Fundraiser A: My fight for Freedom and Justice
  • A discussion on collateral consequences featuring Norris Henderson, Executive Director of VOTE; Tracey D. Syphax, Author & Entrepreneur and Jona VanDeun, Director of Coalitions, Koch Industries.
  • Bail reform discussion with Paul V. Prestia, attorney for Kalief Browder.

Topics:  

  • Asset forfeiture
  • 50th Anniversary of Kent v. United States
  • Bail Reform
  • Overcoming Collateral Consequences
  • Policing in America
NACDL Past President Edward A. Mallett inducted into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Hall of Fame

On June 17, 2016, Edward A. Mallet was inducted into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) Hall of Fame. Mallett is a partner in the law firm of Mallett | Saper | Berg, LLP, in Houston. He is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. Ed, a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, also serves on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College. In addition, he is a Life Member of the Texas Bar Foundation and the NORML Legal Committee. He is a co-author of O'Connor's Federal Criminal Rules and Codes, 2012-2016.

"I'm honored to be with the lawyers that came before me and grateful to all that helped me as a lawyer and a person along the way," said Mallett.

NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris said: "Edward Mallett is regarded by Texas lawyers as among the very elite defenders in the state. This was evidenced by his recent induction into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for only the most highly regarded in our profession. Edward has distinguished himself for over 40 years as a lawyer representing the accused and has demonstrated his inexorable commitment to the principles that we as criminal defense lawyer hold dear. He has represented those with means and those without with equal zeal and dedication. He has made invaluable contributions of his time and energy to professional organizations such as ours with the purpose of maintaining the highest standards for our chosen area of practice. He is truly a lawyer's lawyer."

And NACDL Past President Gerald Goldstein said: "As a fellow child-of-the-60s, what first attracted me to Brother Mallett was his Ivy League credentials and our shared left-wing politics. Over the next 40+ years we shared lots of courtrooms, a few bedrooms and way too many bar rooms. Together we tried the 'Piedras Negras Jailbreak' case, where three Americans broke all the inmates out of a Mexican jail, the FBI sting operations involving Congressman Kelly in 'Abscam' and the Speaker of the Texas House, Billy Clayton in 'Brilab.' We successfully defended the pilots of a Lockheed Loadstar chock full of marijuana that crashed landed outside Big Lake Texas and the 'Mr. Jake,' an oil rig mud boat offloading 110,000 pounds of marijuana at the Casco Marina in Galveston. Edward is a remarkably intelligent, inventive and doggedly tenacious advocate, well deserving of his place in TCDLA's Hall of Fame."

Shirley Baccus-Lobel and William T. Habern were also inducted into the TCDLA Hall of Fame on June 17.

NACDL Seeks Nominations for the State Criminal Justice Reform Award
NACDL's State Legislative Affairs Committee seeks nominations for their State Criminal Justice Reform Award. The award recognizes an individual or group whose exceptional efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system. Nominations must be received by Friday, July 1, 2016, and the award will be presented at the State Criminal Justice Network Conference on Friday, August 12, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Make Your Voice Heard on Criminal Justice Priorities

The National Criminal Justice Association through its Center for Justice Planning (NCJP) and the National Governors Association (NGA) are collaborating on a national initiative to accelerate reform that enhances public safety and makes the most cost-effective use of public resources in five areas of criminal justice policy and practice. The purpose of this short survey is to capture stakeholder priorities to inform the project's goals and objectives. To accomplish this, input is needed from both policymakers and practitioners in states and local jurisdictions.

They are asking individuals to complete this survey and forward it to colleagues in criminal justice including corrections officials, law enforcement officers, courts, sheriffs, legislators, prosecutors, academic experts, community-based service providers. Please ask them to complete the survey and also share it with their colleagues. They are hoping to get as many respondents as possible, so now is the time for the advocacy community to have their voices heard. 

To begin the survey, please click here

Federal Action Alert

Act Now to Stop Expansion of Government Hacking Authority 

Recently, the Supreme Court transmitted to Congress an amendment to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, proposed by the Department of Justice and approved by the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 41 authorizes federal magistrate judges to issue warrants for law enforcement searches and seizures. The current rule requires the government to get a warrant from a judge in the jurisdiction where they want to conduct the search (except in certain limited circumstances). The amendments to Rule 41 would allow the government to apply for warrants in one jurisdiction to conduct remote searches of computers located in another.

Act now to stop this massive expansion of government surveillance and hacking authority! Tell Congress to support the "Stopping Mass Hacking Act" and reject the changes to Rule 41! 

Federal Legislative Tracking
Click here for a complete listing of all federal legislation NACDL is currently tracking. For more information on a specific bill or to learn NACDL's position, please contact Monica Reid, NACDL's Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at mreid@nacdl.org.
NACDL Election Update
No candidacy petitions were received by the deadline. Consequently, the nominees of the Nominating Committee will be declared elected by acclamation at NACDL's upcoming Annual Meeting. Learn more at the Election Center.
NACDLConnect
Have you checked out NACDLConnect lately?  In addition to the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing, NACDLConnect features three exclusive discussion groups, for members only: a General, a White Collar Crime, and a Young & New Lawyers discussion.  NACDL Members use these groups to connect with each other, share knowledge, and strategize together for the good of all. Log in at https://connect.nacdl.org! Get started today at https://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 9, 2017. 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 7, 2016.

Interested members should contact Lisa Ama Schrade, NACDL's National Affairs Assistant, at (202) 465-7638 or lschrade@nacdl.org, for further instructions.

Spread the Word about The Right to Counsel National Campaign
NACDL is a proud consortium and steering committee member of the Right to Counsel National Campaign. This Bureau of Justice Assistance-led initiative is spearheaded by a consortium of national, state, and local criminal justice stakeholders, community advocates, and policymakers who are committed to ensuring the fulfillment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the effective delivery of public defense services. To learn more and spread the word on the importance of public defense, like the campaign on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. And you can join the conversation by using the hashtag #right2counsel.
Affiliate News

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association to Hold Declaration of Independence Reading in Every State County 

On July 1, 2016, criminal defense lawyers in Texas will lead public readings of the Declaration of Independence in each of the 254 counties in the state. This annual tradition was started in 2010 by Houston criminal defense lawyer Robert Fickman, who helped increase the number of readings from just over half of the counties in 2015 to every county in 2016.

New Affinity Partners

Page Vault 

NACDL welcomes its newest affinity partner! Page Vault enables lawyers to easily and securely capture web content—everything from standard web pages, to blogs, and social media pages—for subsequent use as evidence in U.S. courts. NACDL members receive 10-15% off subscription services. More>> 

Townsquare Interactive 

One of NACDL's newest affinity partners is Townsquare Interactive. Members receive 25% off marketing services, and the setup fee is waived! More>> 

RivaCare Health 

NACDL members save up to 30% on individual and group healthcare plans. Telemedicine offers the most efficient way to satisfy your healthcare needs. No copays, no waiting rooms, and 24/7 access to healthcare professionals for one low monthly fee. More>>  

In Other News

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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