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February 28, 2017; Vol. 16 No. 02

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Welcomes Passage by House of Representatives of the Email Privacy Act

On February 6, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387). This bill is a long overdue update of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a bill passed in 1986 that governs the treatment of electronic communications. The Email Privacy Act establishes that law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant to access the content of most electronic communications and cloud-stored content from third-party providers and eliminates the arbitrary rule that would allow the government to obtain emails older than 180 days with a subpoena. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the last Congress 419-0.

NACDL President Barry J. Pollack said: "Today's passage of the Email Privacy Act by the House is an important step in updating laws passed more than 30 years ago designed to protect the privacy of electronic communications. While the bill falls short of protecting the privacy of electronic communications as they are used in the 21st century, the bill represents a significant improvement over the dated laws currently on the books. NACDL strongly urges passage of this legislation by the U.S. Senate."

Read more here.

NACDL Heartened by Support for Criminal Discovery Reform in Virginia

On February 9, 2017, NACDL urged the Virginia House of Delegates to pass criminal discovery reform legislation to increase fairness and access to justice in the Commonwealth. On February 7, the Senate passed SB 1563 by a vote of 39-1, but the bill was tabled (by voice vote) in a House subcommittee hearing on February 15, effectively killing it this session.

Though the bill will not move forward this year, the reform effort made considerable progress this year, including winning near unanimous support in the Senate and increasing community support for the need for discovery reform in Virginia. At the House Courts of Justice - Criminal Law Subcommittee hearing, several delegates spoke on the need for the Commonwealth's Attorneys to come to the table and negotiate a solution with the defense. NACDL's Virginia Fair Trial Coalition will continue efforts toward reform in Virginia's 2018 legislative session.

Read more here.

The Marshall Project and Neil Barsky, Its Chairman and Founder, to Receive Champion of Justice Journalism Award

The Marshall Project and Neil Barsky as its chairman and founder will receive the Champion of Justice Journalism Award from NACDL on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the Association's midwinter seminar and meeting in New Orleans, LA. Neil Barsky will be present to accept the award.

NACDL President Barry J. Pollack said, "With direction from Neil Barsky, The Marshall Project has become an invaluable resource for all Americans to rely on for criminal justice reporting. Of critical relevance to NACDL is the organization's reporting on the public defense crisis taking place in Louisiana. Publicizing this important story has helped to foster a national conversation about the overburdened and underfunded public defense system. NACDL hopes this conversation will lead to reform in Louisiana and elsewhere. I am proud to select the Marshall Project and Neil Barsky as its chairman and founder to receive NACDL's Champion of Justice Journalism Award."

Read more here.

Partners Wanted for Public Defense Training

NACDL's Public Defense Department provides on-site CLE to public defenders and/or private assigned counsel regularly engaged in the provision of adult criminal public defense services. NACDL is in search of several jurisdictions in which to host training conferences to be scheduled between December 2017 and September 2018. Training programs are generally two days in length and are taught by nationally-recognized faculty members and local experts. When planning programs, NACDL relies on the help of local partners to aid in curriculum development, arrange logistics, and publicize the program. NACDL secures appropriate faculty and materials, pays all expenses related to faculty travel to the site, and secures CLE accreditation for each program.

The subjects of the CLE are determined based on the needs of the area as determined through mutual agreement of NACDL and the requesting entity. Topics at prior programs have included client-centered representation, forensic evidence issues, and trial skills, among others. 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.

Training programs must be scheduled a minimum of six months in advance to comply with documentation requirements of funders. For more information about how to request training in your jurisdiction, please email Diane Price, Public Defense Training Manager for NACDL, at dprice@nacdl.org with "Training Request" in the subject line.

Seeking Suspected "Parallel Construction" Cases

Human Rights Watch researcher Sarah St. Vincent is currently investigating the ways in which the government may be using information obtained through warrantless intelligence surveillance as part of criminal prosecutions, without disclosing to judges or defense attorneys that it has done so. According to Reuters, one of the government's methods for concealing the use of intelligence surveillance data in criminal investigations is "parallel construction" – the use of a pretextual traffic stop or other method to create an alternative explanation for how evidence was found or how a defendant came to law enforcement's attention. (For more information about parallel construction, see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805).

St. Vincent requests that any defense attorney who suspects that intelligence surveillance data may have been used in one of his/her cases, but not disclosed, contact her at stvincs@hrw.org or (212) 216-1212. Her goal is to produce a report that will document these practices (or suspected practices) and promote legislative reforms to strengthen defendants' rights. She will not contact any defendants directly without their attorneys' permission.

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 is in process. 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.
NACDL Leadership on Twitter!
NACDL's President Barry J. Pollack is now on Twitter at @NACDLPresident, and Executive Director Norman L. Reimer is on at @NACDLExecDir. Follow them for their take on criminal justice issues in the news! And don't forget to follow NACDL on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on local, national, and international criminal justice stories.
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 Committee Meetings
Dates and times for upcoming meetings are available online.

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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