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NACDL E-News

October 31, 2016; Vol. 15 No. 10

The Sixth Amendment Center Releases Groundbreaking Study of Public Defense in Indiana; Report Commissioned by NACDL

On October 24, the Sixth Amendment Center released an important new study – The Right to Counsel in Indiana: Evaluation of Trial level Indigent Defense Services. As part of its public defense reform program, NACDL commissioned the Sixth Amendment Center to conduct an independent study of the state of public defense in Indiana and to produce this report.

"The Sixth Amendment's guarantee of the right to counsel in all criminal prosecutions is at the heart of the American criminal justice system," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "All too often, though, it is a promise that goes unfulfilled, especially for those who need this constitutional protection the most. This impressive and in-depth report on public defense in Indiana, commissioned by NACDL and executed by the Sixth Amendment Center, is precisely the sort of work that must be done, state by state and jurisdiction by jurisdiction to determine where public defense is working and where it is falling short. NACDL is committed to supporting efforts like this across the country."

The Report and Executive Summary are available at http://www.nacdl.org/IndianaPublicDefense.

States Have Long Road Ahead to Ensure the Constitutional Right to Counsel, New NACDL Report Finds

On October 26, NACDL released a report that surveys the standards set by each of the 50 states to provide counsel in criminal cases to those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. Prepared by John P. Gross, Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education & Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at the University of Alabama School of Law, Representation in All Criminal Prosecutions: The Right to Counsel in State Courts examines how states have designed their public defense policies in light of Gideon v. Wainwright and other Supreme Court cases interpreting the Sixth Amendment's mandate. This is the third report in NACDL's series Gideon at 50: A Three-Part Examination of Public Defense in America.

"Today, more than ever, anyone accused of a criminal offense needs the assistance of a lawyer," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "Prosecutors have extraordinary discretion in charging decisions, sentences are often draconian, and conviction for even minor offenses carries debilitating collateral consequences affecting a person's future ability to obtain an education, maintain employment, or receive government benefits. The final report in the Gideon at 50 series is an important look at the policies set by each of the states to fulfill the critical need for counsel. NACDL hopes that this report will be a valuable resource for litigators and reformers working to ensure full compliance with the Sixth Amendment."

Read more here.

In Two Sets of Clemency Petition Grants, President Obama Commutes 200 Sentences in October; Clemency Project 2014 Surpasses 2,150 Submitted Petitions

After commuting the sentences of 102 prisoners on October 6, President Obama brought October's total to 200 by commuting the sentences of 98 more prisoners on October 27. Of those 98 grants, 62 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. That brings the total number of commutations granted by President Obama to date to 872, of which 418 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

"We are happy that families are being reunited as a result of the president's work in correcting long sentences," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "We were heartened by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates' statement [on October 25] that there will be 'many more to come,' and hope that the pace will accelerate in the coming weeks."

Clemency Project 2014 also surpassed the milestone of 2,000 clemency petitions submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney on October 7, with many more nearing submission.

Gerald B. Lefcourt, President of the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), which was among the first to provide critical financial resources to establish Clemency Project 2014, said of the milestone: "The Project, along with its support from FCJ, epitomizes the mission of the Foundation, including promoting fair sentencing practices for anyone convicted of crime. The nearly all-volunteer initiative has worked tirelessly to train lawyers, process requests from those seeking assistance, and take on countless hours of legwork to locate materials. Surpassing 2,000 submitted petitions is a testament to their determination. It exemplifies the highest commitment to public service and represents the legal profession at its best."

To date, Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 2,150 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

Read more here, here, and here.

NACDL Receives Outstanding Alliance Award from U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

On October 26, NACDL was presented with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) Outstanding Alliance Award at its 17th Annual Legal Reform Summit in recognition of its "important contributions to the fight for criminal justice reform."

After receiving the award, NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer said, "NACDL is proud to receive the Outstanding Alliance Award. It is a reflection of more than a decade of working closely with ILR to promote criminal justice reform. This partnership is proof positive that the effects of the nation's broken criminal justice system, and the fixation on using unrestrained criminal prosecution to attack all manner of disfavored personal, social, and economic behavior, are universal. They impact everyone in our society, and the business community is no exception. To fix the system, we need everyone working together, and support from the business community is crucial to these efforts."

Read more here.

NACDL Staff Recognized for Outstanding Service

Tom Chambers received the Executive Director's Award at the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) Awards Dinner on Friday, October 28, 2016, at The Newseum in Washington, DC.

"The Executive Director's Award recognizes enduring and outstanding service by a member of the NACDL staff," said NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer. "No one is more deserving of this award that Tom Chambers, NACDL's Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer. Through his distinguished service over the course of the past 16 years, Tom Chambers has provided the critical finance and accounting infrastructure that has enabled NACDL and the Foundation for Criminal Justice to vastly expand their capacity to support the criminal defense bar and promote criminal justice reform. It is thanks to Tom Chambers' stewardship of the Association's finances that NACDL and the FCJ are stronger, more impactful, and more respected than at any time in our history."

On October 21, Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014 Cynthia W. Roseberry received the Church of Scientology Humanitarian Award in Washington, DC, at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office. The Scientology Humanitarian Awards recognize outstanding work by people with whom Scientology has worked in the preceding year from a variety of subject matter areas, such as criminal justice reform. Ms. Roseberry was honored for her work as Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014 and as a member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.

"If care for the forgotten, passion for justice, and dedication to the reunification of families long divided by misguided criminal justice policies is what it means to be a humanitarian, then no person deserves this award more than Cynthia Roseberry," said Norman L. Reimer, Executive Director of NACDL and a member of the Clemency Project 2014 Steering Committee. "Ms. Roseberry's devotion to Clemency Project 2014 and her steadfast leadership of it has helped restore the freedom of hundreds and the dreams of thousands. She is a role model for the legal profession and our entire society."

NACDL Seeks Responses to Key Questions Posed to the Presidential Candidates

Between August and early September, NACDL canvassed its members and others in the criminal defense bar and community for their input in connection with questions NACDL would be submitting to the following candidates for President – Hillary Clinton (D), Donald Trump (R), Jill Stein (G), and Gary Johnson (L). On September 8, 2016, NACDL President Barry J. Pollack submitted the final set of questions to all four of these campaigns.

Shortly thereafter, NACDL launched http://www.icareaboutjustice.org/ to engage the public on the subject of the presidential candidates and criminal justice issues. This website shares NACDL's questions to the candidates with the public and offers the public the opportunity to urge the candidates to show that they care about criminal justice by making their positions known on the crucial issues facing our criminal justice system.

As of this date, the only candidate to have submitted responses to NACDL's questions is Green Party Nominee Jill Stein. Her campaign's responses are available here.

"In a nation where approximately one in four adults has some form of an arrest or conviction record, and where some 2.2 million people are currently behind bars, entire communities are directly impacted by the criminal justice system. It has been estimated that the United States spends $80 billion a year incarcerating its citizens, meaning that every taxpayer is impacted by the criminal justice system. Given the outsized role that the criminal justice system plays in the lives of the American people, the questions NACDL has posed to the Presidential candidates are of the utmost public concern," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "We very much hope that each of the candidates will acknowledge the importance to the American people of criminal justice issues and promptly provide responses to NACDL so that voters will know where each of them stands on these vital questions."

Visit http://www.icareaboutjustice.org now to find Jill Stein's answers and to urge the other candidates to respond to NACDL's questions.

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, DC. 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.

Surveillance Self Defense: A Series of NACDL Primers
The Fourth Amendment is being redefined in the digital age. Surveillance programs and technologies that were ostensibly created and implemented to combat terrorism are being used in every aspect of the criminal justice system and are impacting Fourth Amendment protections in criminal cases as well as litigation strategies. NACDL is producing a series of primers to introduce different surveillance programs and techniques to defense lawyers and provide strategies and resources to combat these new challenges in cases. In this ongoing project, the first three primers focus on Automated License Plate Readers, Cell Phone Location Tracking, and Cell Site Simulators—they are available on NACDL's website.
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.

The R2C National Consortium Second Annual Meeting took place on October 25, 2016, at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. A link to the agenda is available here, and for full remarks from Deputy Attorney General Yates, Assistant Attorney General Mason, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta, please click here.

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.
Advocacy Resources: What NACDL Can Do for You

Visit NACDL's Take Action webpage for state and federal legislative updates and action alerts. You can find more advocacy information and resources in NACDL's Advocacy Resource Library.

Please contact NACDL's Grassroots Advocacy Manager, Monica L. Reid, at mreid@nacdl.org for any advocacy question or need.

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.
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In Other News

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