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NACDL E-News

March 30, 2017; Vol. 16 No. 03

NACDL to Upgrade Membership Management System

NACDL is upgrading its membership management system, which will take effect in mid-April. 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 members, and more in keeping with current websites.

The most important reason NACDL is telling you about this 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.

Please keep an eye open for more news about this. NACDL 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 them know any time they can be of service.

The Deepening Public Defense Crisis in Louisiana; New Report from NACDL

On March 2, 2017, NACDL, with support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), released State of Crisis: Chronic Neglect and Underfunding for Louisiana's Public Defense System, by Andrea M. Marsh, Lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law. This report was commissioned by NACDL and its Public Defense Committee "to assess the root causes of perhaps the most prolonged and severe public defense crisis in the nation." (Foreword, at 4.) Those causes include inadequate and unstable funding mechanisms that triggered well-publicized waitlists for public defense services, as well as less-publicized but chronic failures to safeguard the independence of the defense function and to sustain a public defense system capable of delivering legal services that meet constitutional and professional standards.

NACDL President Barry J. Pollack said: "The United States Constitution guarantees that if you are accused of a crime and cannot afford a lawyer, you will be provided an attorney with adequate training and resources to represent you. Sadly, in many parts of the country, that guarantee is often an empty promise. In many jurisdictions, overburdened public defenders have caseloads that do not allow them to provide effective representation to all of their clients and public defenders frequently lack resources to hire the necessary investigators and experts. Nowhere is this more true than in Louisiana. This new report looks at the reasons Louisiana's public defense system finds itself in an unprecedented crisis and offers recommendations to alleviate this intolerable situation. NACDL looks forward to participating in a national effort to ensure that the citizens of Louisiana receive the representation the Constitution guarantees."

Read more here.

NACDL Issues Groundbreaking Report and Recommendations on Police Body Cameras; Will Hold Upcoming Webinar

On March 15, 2017, NACDL, with support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), released Policing Body Cameras: Policies and Procedures to Safeguard the Rights of the Accused. This report is the product of more than two years of careful research and deliberation. In this report, NACDL endorses the continued and wider use of body cameras as long as they are implemented with NACDL's policy recommendations, which are set forth in the report. With these protections in place, body cameras have the potential to better document encounters between police officers and civilians while mitigating competing concerns about their potential for misuse or abuse. The report and recommendations represent an important contribution to critical conversations and policymaking taking place throughout the country.

"With police-civilian encounters escalating into tragedy with alarming frequency, many cities are turning to the use of police body worn cameras in an effort to increase police accountability," NACDL President and Co-Chair of NACDL's Body Camera Task Force Barry J. Pollack said. "With this groundbreaking report, NACDL examines both the potential benefits of the use of body worn cameras and the considerable concerns presented by their use. NACDL's report sets forth a comprehensive list of guidelines for the implementation and use of body worn cameras. It should be required reading for policy makers and police departments across the country."

Read more here.

Learn more about this report at a free webinar on Thursday, April 6, 2017, from 1:30p.m.-3:00p.m. ET. Register here. Panelists will address how to negotiate stronger body camera policies, identify strategies and tactics for defending clients in body camera jurisdictions, and more.

New Report Offers Guide for Defense Attorneys to Challenge Secretive Government Hacking

Over the past several years, the government has increasingly turned to hacking and malware as an investigative technique. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun deploying software designed to infiltrate and control, disable, or surveil a computer’s use and activity. This kind of widespread and secretive hacking by the government is controversial and of questionable constitutionality. A report released on March 30, 2017, sets out key legal arguments and strategies for challenging evidence seized by government-installed computer malware as a violation of the Fourth Amendment and federal law. The report, Challenging Government Hacking in Criminal Cases, was written by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and NACDL.

Read more here. 

Nationally Recognized Defense Attorney Cristina C. Arguedas Receives 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award from NACDL and Stetson Law

On Saturday, March 18, NACDL and Stetson University College of Law presented Cristina C. Arguedas with the 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award. Ms. Arguedas received her award during NACDL's White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson Law in Gulfport, Florida. 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.

"We are honored to present this year's White Collar Criminal Defense Award to Cris Arguedas," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack, who presented Ms. Arguedas with the award. "Ms. Arguedas is a fearless advocate who never shies away from a difficult case and wins an extraordinary number of them. Ms. Arguedas is what every law student and every lawyer aspires to be. She is a consummate professional and a master of her craft. Ms. Arguedas embodies what this award is all about – recognition of an attorney who has made a profound impact on the field of white collar criminal defense advocacy."

Read more here.

NACDL Denounces Florida Governor’s Interference with Prosecutor’s Decision Not to Seek Death Penalty

According to news reports, on March 16, 2017, recently-elected Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala was removed from a death penalty eligible case by an executive order of Florida Governor Rick Scott. The reason, according to a statement from the governor, was that Ayala had announced that she would not seek the death penalty in this or other cases. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ayala said that after "extensive and painstaking thought and consideration," she had determined that seeking the death penalty "is not in the best interest of the community or the best interest of justice." Ayala said capital punishment in Florida had led to "chaos, uncertainty, and turmoil." She concluded that evidence shows the death penalty is overly expensive, slow, inhumane, and does not increase public safety. "Some victims will support and some will surely oppose my decision," she said. "But I have learned that the death penalty traps many victims, families in a decades-long cycle of uncertainty, court hearings, appeals and waiting."

"State Attorney Aramis Ayala's thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of seeking the death penalty should be respected, as should the will of the Orange and Osceola Counties' voters who just elected her," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "Governor Scott should honor the well-reasoned decision of a State Attorney, rather than allow his zeal to impose the death penalty to override that decision. Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice on behalf of the people. In not seeking the death penalty, State Attorney Ayala was doing just that. Whether Governor Scott personally agreed or disagreed with the State's Attorney, he should have commended her courageous decision, rather than criticizing her and removing her from the case."

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 and to request training in your jurisdiction, please click here.

Fourth Annual NACDL and Cardozo School of Law National Forensic College

This year’s conference will be held from June 4-9, 2017, in New York City. The National Forensic College (NFC) is an advanced, week-long forensic science CLE designed for experienced trial and post-conviction litigators. The college will prepare attorneys to litigate complex forensic science issues strategically and with the support of the nation’s leading law firms and experts. Attendance is by application only and space is limited, so please apply soon.  

The tuition for private attorneys is only $999 for the full six-day program. To apply, download the attorney application at www.nacdl.org/NFCApp and return to Vanessa Antoun, NACDL Senior Resource Counsel at vantoun@nacdl.org. Housing is available in the 13th Street Residence Hall dormitory at the New School ($480 for the week) or at a midtown hotel block (average rate for the week is $255/per night). For more information on housing options, contact Peter Walsh, Forensic College Administrator for Cardozo Law, at pwalsh@yu.edu or (212) 790-0315.

The National Forensic College is presented in collaboration with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Defender Services Training Division. 

Free Webcast: Charting a Course for the Future of Forensic Science in the Courtroom
On Monday, April 17, 2017, from 1:00-2:30-pm ET, expert faculty will discuss the impact of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report (PCAST Report), as well as the role and work of the National Commission on Forensic Science and the Organization of Scientific Areas Committees (OSAC) on litigation and the future of forensic science. Registrants will be able to submit questions for the faculty during the live streaming broadcast. Click here to register and to get more information.
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. NACDL is 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.
NACDL 2017 Election Notice
NACDL's 2017 election is in process. Please note that candidacy materials are due to the Nominating Committee this Friday, March 31, at 5:00 pm Eastern TimeIndividuals interested in running for officer positions or for the board of directors should consult www.nacdl.org/elections for deadlines and procedures.  
Advocacy Call Discussing Marsy's Law

Marsy's Law seeks to give crime victims legal standing in bail hearings, pleas, sentencing, and parole hearings. It also allows crime victims to refuse an interview or other discovery requests made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused. The law has passed in several states including California, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In North Dakota, issues with interpreting and implementing the law as it relates to the discovery process have been reported. Other states have experienced similar issues. Legislation is currently pending in Kentucky, Nevada, Georgia, Idaho, and Oklahoma.

Please join us for a National Advocacy Call on Developing Legislation on Wednesday, April, 12, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET. Discussion will include how state advocates can help repel aggressive promotion of this legislation. To RSVP please send an email to advocacynetwork@nacdl.org.

NACDL Joins Justice Fellowship in Recognition of Second Chance Month
NACDL is a partner with Prison Fellowship in recognition of Second Chance Month. Please join NACDL on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, April 25, for a breakfast and briefing entitled Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record: Public Safety Benefit or Threat? Space is limited. Please find more information and RSVP here. 
Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Reintroduced in 115th Congress
The Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act has been reintroduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Among its reforms, H.R. 1555 and S. 642 would raise the government’s burden of proof to "clear and convincing" from "a preponderance of the evidence" and increase protections for innocent owners by requiring the government to prove that an owner was aware that his or her property was being used in criminal activity. This legislation would bring much-needed improvements to federal civil asset forfeiture laws.
“Kate’s Law” Reintroduced, Provides for Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry
H.R. 361 and S. 45, known as "Kate's Law," will set a statutory mandatory minimum of five years for attempted or actual illegal reentry after deportation or removal. Differences exist between the House and Senate versions, specifically in S. 45 the five year mandatory minimum is triggered if the person has a prior aggravated felony conviction or two prior illegal reentry convictions; the House bill does not contain this requirement before the five year mandatory minimum is triggered. NACDL opposed this legislation in the last Congress and will continue to do so.
Federal Action Alert: Support Funding for the John R. Justice Student Loan Program

The John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act provides up to $10,000/year in student loan repayment assistance for public defenders and prosecutors who agree to stay in their jobs for three years. NACDL fought for passage in 2008, pushed for quick funding and implementation, and has fought for funding every year since. While funding has diminished over the years, the program is the only dedicated federal funding stream for state public defenders, and maintaining some level of funding for the program remains vitally important.

What can you do to help? Reps. Daniel Donovan, Jr. and William Keating are circulating a funding support letter, urging the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science to include funding for the program in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations act. Click 'Take Action' to contact your representative and urge them to sign onto the funding support letter. 

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.
State Legislative Tracking
Click here for a complete listing of all legislation NACDL is currently tracking, sorted by issue area. Under each issue area you can either view legislation in select states or view all legislation. To jump to your particular state of interest, just click on the state on the map. You can also choose to view the entire listing regardless of the issue area by clicking on 'All Legislation' at the top of the chart.
New Affinity Partners

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NACDL members can get great deals from our 20+ affinity partners. Click through to www.nacdl.org/costsavings/. To save on insurance, travel, office supplies, package delivery, and much more.

In Other News

Upcoming CLE Events
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Recent Updates to Restoration of Rights Project
View Restoration of Rights Project

Employment Opportunities
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