April 2017

April 2017 Cover

What arguments can defense counsel make when challenging juvenile confessions?


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    Affiliate News for April 2017 Champion.

    Gerald Lippert

  2. Book Review: A New Juvenile Justice System - Total Reform for a Broken System

    In A New Juvenile Justice System Nancy Dowd brings together the ideas and thoughts of some of the most influential, groundbreaking, and thoughtful leaders within the juvenile justice world. Through this collection of essays, these authors re-envision the juvenile justice system, discuss the possibilities of what it can become, and argue for the reform necessary to overhaul our current, broken system.

    Christina Campbell

  3. Book Review: Hard Bargains - The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court

    Most readers of The Champion do not need a book about the federal war on drugs to learn of its horrors. The daily practice of criminal defense provides enough education. And yet Mona Lynch, a criminology professor at the University of California Irvine, provides fresh insights in her terrific new book, Hard Bargains: The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court, in which she analyzes the history and current practice of federal drug prosecutions.

    David Patton

  4. Book Review: The Pecan Man

    Set in 1976 in Mayville, Florida, in the opening pages of The Pecan Man readers are introduced to Ora Lee Beckworth, Blanche and the Pecan Man. Ora Lee is a white, recently widowed, middle-aged woman. Blanche was Ora Lee’s black maid, who raised her five children in the section of town referred to as “colored town.” Blanche worked for Ora Lee until her death. The Pecan Man (Eddie) was a black, elderly homeless man who took up residence in nearby woods and was hired by Ora Lee to care for her yard. Neighborhood children gave Eddie the nickname as a result of the sack of pecans he often had with him.

    Monica L. Reid

  5. Defend Children: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services

    In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in In re Gault that youth facing delinquency prosecution are entitled to certain procedural safeguards, including the right to counsel. Current practices, however, allow an astounding number of justice-involved youth to appear in court without a lawyer. Mary Ann Scali discusses a “blueprint” for juvenile defense reform, which includes seven recommendations for providing effective juvenile defender services. The blueprint calls for a comprehensive and systemic approach to ensure children’s right to counsel.

    Mary Ann Scali

  6. From the President: Criminalizing the Tradition of Protest

    Several states are considering legislation that seems to be in response to citizens who engage in public protest. If prosecuted, protesters will need criminal defense lawyers to argue the First Amendment as a complete defense.

    Barry J. Pollack

  7. Gerald Gault, Meet Brendan Dassey: Preventing Juvenile False and Coerced Confessions in the 21st Cen

    The problem of unreliable confessions from juveniles still exists. For example, police officers used misguided techniques to elicit a confession from mentally limited teenager Brendan Dassey: they told him that everything would be “OK” as long as he told them what they already believed he had done; they fed him crucial nonpublic details, including that the deceased had been shot in the head; and they falsely led him to believe that he would be returned to school in time to finish a project – even after he confessed to rape and murder.

    Laura Nirider, Megan Crane, and Steven Drizin

  8. Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project April 2017 Champion.

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

  9. Miller, Montgomery, and Mitigation: Incorporating Life History Investigations and Reentry Planning I

    Comprehensive mitigation investigations play a critical role in the new era of sentencing young people in the adult justice system. The discussion here focuses on the resentencing of adults who were mandatorily sent to prison for life when they were children. The authors describe what mitigation is and explain how to do it, including the importance of incorporating a reentry plan into the mitigation report.

    Dana Cook, Lauren Fine, and Joanna Visser Adjoian

  10. Moving Forward From Gault

    The authors proclaim that it is time to get back to the original premise of In re Gault and Fourteenth Amendment protections. They argue that the same reasoning courts have applied to postconviction proceedings must be applied at the trial level: Children are fundamentally different from adults, and these differences require enhanced procedural protections at all phases of prosecution — in delinquency court as well as in cases that are transferred to the adult system.

    Casey McGowan, Whitney Untiedt, and Randee Waldman

  11. NACDL News: Betty Layne DesPortes Elected AAFS President

    NACDL member Betty Layne DesPortes, the managing partner of Benjamin & DesPortes, P.C. in Richmond, Va., is the first criminal defense lawyer to be elected president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). She was sworn in on Feb. 18, 2017.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  12. NACDL News: House of Representatives Passes Email Privacy Act

    On Feb. 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.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  13. NACDL News: NACDL Heartened by Support for Criminal Discovery Reform in Virginia

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

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  14. NACDL News: NACDL Issues Report on Public Defense Crisis in Louisiana

    With support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), on March 2 NACDL 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. NACDL and its Public Defense Committee commissioned this report “to assess the root causes of perhaps the most prolonged and severe public defense crisis in the nation.” 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.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  15. NACDL News: NACDL Past President Judy Clarke Recognized by the American College of Trial Lawyers

    In March, the American College of Trial Lawyers presented its Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy to criminal defense attorney and NACDL Past President (1996-97) Judy Clarke. The award honors trial lawyers who have persevered in the pursuit of an important cause despite substantial personal danger, fear, unpopularity, opposition, or other extreme difficulties. The award is the highest honor conferred on a single individual by the College.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  16. NACDL News: The Marshall Project and Neil Barsky Receive Champion of Justice Journalism Award

    The Marshall Project and Neil Barsky, its chairman and founder, received the Champion of Justice Journalism Award from NACDL on March 3, 2017. NACDL President Barry J. Pollack presented the award at the Association’s midwinter seminar and meeting in New Orleans, La.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

  17. NACDL® 2017 Election Procedures

    NACDL® 2017 Election Procedures April 2017 Champion.


  18. When Are We Going to Launch Gault 2.0?

    Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh, a forensic clinical psychologist, believes that empirical evidence can be used to demonstrate that the law should evolve beyond In re Gault. She presents research lawyers can use in individual cases to argue for — using the vernacular of today’s world — implementation of Gault 2.0. A court operating under Gault 2.0 would rely on recent research and conclude that counsel should be provided not merely during delinquency proceedings but throughout the juvenile’s involvement in the criminal justice system. Pursuant to Gault 2.0, a court would also address the need for “competency to stand trial” decisions to reflect empirical findings.

    Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh