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January 31, 2017; Vol. 16 No. 01

Critical Immigration Advisories for Defense Lawyers After the Administration's 1/25/17 Executive Order
Both criminal defense and immigration groups have released critical practice advisories in response to the executive orders (EO) on immigration policy issued by the President on January 25, 2017. The executive orders affect, among other areas, ICE enforcement actions and priorities, including who ICE seeks to detain and deport. Thus, it is essential for defense lawyers to stay informed of all changes and how they are being implemented through consultation with immigration experts. Isaac Wheeler, Immigration Attorney at the Federal Defenders of New York issued this advisory on the potential impact of the EO on non-citizen clients. Immigration organizations such as the Immigrant Defense Project likewise moved quickly to provide information for defense counsel via summaries for key practice developments. Defense lawyers with non-citizen clients will require more detailed information and expert advice specific to each case and can visit the NACDL Resource Center for links to immigration groups who can provide assistance and additional resources.
Report: Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Documents "Sixth Amendment-Free" Proceedings in South Carolina Courts

On January 18, 2017, NACDL released its second report on South Carolina's summary courts, Rush to Judgment: How South Carolina's Summary Courts Fail to Protect Constitutional Rights. The U.S. Constitution in the Sixth Amendment guarantees that a person accused of a crime has the right to a lawyer, whether or not he or she can afford to hire one. In South Carolina, the bulk of criminal cases are relatively minor offenses heard in municipal and magistrate courts, collectively referred to as summary courts. As demonstrated by the NACDL reports, these courts routinely fail to inform defendants of their right to counsel and refuse to provide counsel to the poor at all stages of the criminal process. South Carolina summary courts also regularly violate the Constitution by sentencing defendants to jail simply because they cannot afford to pay fines.

"This report documents that South Carolina's summary courts, which hear hundreds of thousands of cases a year, operate in a largely Sixth Amendment-free zone," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "The assembly line approach to justice in South Carolina's summary courts falls well short of what is required both by the Constitution and by fundamental fairness. In issuing this report, NACDL calls for reform to change this intolerable situation."

The earlier report, Summary Injustice: A Look at Constitutional Deficiencies in South Carolina's Summary Courts, a joint project with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of South Carolina, was released in April 2016. This follow up report to Summary Injustice presents the findings from additional study of South Carolina's summary courts accomplished through the systematic gathering of data from magistrate and municipal courts in five counties in the Palmetto state.

Rush to Judgment and the April 2016 report, Summary Injustice, can both be downloaded at www.nacdl.org/summaryinjustice.

Read more here.

President Obama Caps Final Week in Office with 539 More Commutations

On January 17, 2017, President Obama announced 209 grants of commutation, of which 100 were cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. Just two days later, on January 19, President Obama announced 330 more grants of commutation, of which 189 were supported by the Project. The 330 grants represented the largest single set of commutation grants of Obama's tenure as president.

The total number of commutations granted by President Obama through his terms in office was 1,715, of which 894 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

"We are grateful to President Obama for the historically large number of grants in a single round and in total," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "Our gratitude for all he has done to prove that we are a nation of second chances is eclipsed only by that of clemency recipients and their families."

NACDL and the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) applauded the historic pro bono effort of Clemency Project 2014.

NACDL President Barry J. Pollack said, "President Obama's actions have provided a measure of fairness to a system that had devastated the lives of so many people, their families, and their communities. The President would not have been able to accomplish this extraordinary outcome without the efforts of volunteer lawyers around the country. NACDL has been at the forefront of the unprecedented work of screening and submitting thousands of clemency petitions. As a lawyer and as president of the NACDL, I could not be more proud of NACDL, its staff, and the lawyers who volunteered their valuable time. President Obama and Clemency Project 2014 will long be remembered for promoting the cause of justice."

Gerald B. Lefcourt, President of the FCJ, which was among the first to provide critical financial resources to establish Clemency Project 2014, said: "This Project embodies so much of what the FCJ is all about. It is with great pride that the Foundation beholds the incredible achievements over the past nearly three years since the inception of this singularly remarkable effort undertaken by the nation's bar. FCJ will continue to support the pursuit of fair sentencing for anyone accused of a crime, as well as other known and unknown challenges as we work together to preserve and promote the core values of America's justice system guaranteed by the Constitution."

Read more here, here, and here.

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Welcomes Inaugural Tiffany May Joslyn White Collar Crime Policy Intern

On January 9, NACDL welcomed Kaitlin Bigger to the Association as the inaugural Tiffany May Joslyn White Collar Crime Policy intern.

This internship was created in memory of Tiffany May Joslyn, who served as NACDL's White Collar Crime Policy Counsel from 2008 through 2015, and in honor of her significant contributions to the cause of criminal justice reform, particularly in the areas of white collar crime, overcriminalization, and the erosion of due process protections in the criminal justice system. After leaving NACDL, Tiffany served as Deputy Chief Counsel of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations for the Democratic staff for the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. This internship is designed to afford a law student specifically interested in white collar crime and related policy issues with the opportunity to work directly with and learn from leaders in the field.

Read more here.

NACDL To Upgrade Membership Management System: A Message from the Membership Department

NACDL will upgrade its membership management system in the next few weeks. There will be some changes to the processes of registration for seminars, product purchase, and membership renewal, which we hope will be easier for all our members.

The most important reason we are telling you about this now is to let you know that it will be necessary to reset your password when you start using the new system. This will be a simple process, and you can either re-use the password you are currently using, or create a new one. In addition, if you are currently enrolled in automatic membership renewal, your membership will not be automatically renewed. The reason for both of these is that your information is encrypted for your protection, and cannot be transferred to the new system.

There is no action required now, but please keep an eye open for more news about this. We will send a reminder and instructions closer to the transition date. And of course, Member Services stands always ready to help at 202-872-4001 or by email at memberservices@nacdl.org. Please let us know any time we can be of service.

NACDL's 8th Annual FREE Training for Post-Conviction Lawyers

They Blinded Me with “Science”: Examining the Reliability of Forensic Evidence in Innocence Claims 

March 23, 2017, San Diego, CA   

NACDL, in collaboration with the Innocence Network, presents an essential new training specifically for lawyers who handle post-conviction innocence clams*. National experts will provide cutting edge instruction on topics essential for today's post-conviction litigation, including: examining the PCAST Report and its implications for post-conviction litigation; statistical concepts in forensic science (including those discussed in the PCAST report); complex DNA mixtures (combined probability of inclusion, and probabilistic genotyping software); and overcoming the hurdles to obtaining post-conviction relief in plea cases. Click here for more information.

This event is the day before the 2017 Innocence Network Conference which will be held on March 24-25. Separate registration is required for the Innocence Network's national event, which brings together attorneys, the exonerated, and their families for two days of educational sessions related to innocence work. For information and registration, visit www.innocencenetwork.org/networkconference 

*Pursuant to the grant funding, attendees must work on the screening, review, investigation and/or litigation of potential post-conviction innocence claims and you cannot work on the prosecution of criminal matters. By registering for this training, you certify those facts to be true. If you have any questions about eligibility to attend, please contact Senior Resource Counsel, Vanessa Antoun at vantoun@nacdl.org or (202) 465-7663. 

NACDL 2017 Election Notice
NACDL's 2017 election will commence shortly. Individuals interested in running for officer positions or for the board of directors should consult www.nacdl.org/elections for deadlines and procedures.
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.
Discovery Reform Event in Virginia
Please join NACDL for Discovery Reform: An Advocacy Briefing to Engage the Community in Virginia on Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET at the Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church, 1317 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23504. Let us know that you are attending by submitting an RSVP here.
Save the Date – 16th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference
NACDL's 16th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference will take place in San Francisco, CA from July 26-28, 2017. We are looking forward to another amazing conference with relevant issues to guide your advocacy efforts. Please check here for updates as they become available.
NACDL’s State Legislative Affairs Committee Seeks Applications for Award
The State Legislative Affairs Committee is seeking nominations for its annual Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award. The award is given to an individual or group that has actively led state reform efforts. Award recipients must be present to receive the award at the State Criminal Justice Network Conference on Friday, July 28, 2017, in San Francisco, CA. For criteria and application guidelines, please click here.
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

Upcoming CLE Events
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Recent Updates to Restoration of Rights Project
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