April 2020

April 2020 Cover

How can defense counsel fight back even when the prosecution has DNA evidence? How do lawyers advise clients regarding whether to testify?


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    What events are NACDL affiliates hosting this month? Find out here.

    Gerald Lippert

  2. Book Review: Lawyer X by Jake Banks

    This month Lisa B. Kauffman reviews Lawyer X: A True Story by Jake Banks.

    Lisa B. Kauffman

  3. Book Review: The Meaning of Life by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis

    This month Cara Wieneke reviews The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis.

    Cara Wieneke

  4. Compassionate Release: NACDL and Partners Launch the COVID-19 Compassionate Release Clearinghouse

    Courts around the United States have increasingly recognized that the coronavirus is an extraordinary and compelling reason warranting release of inmates. Several courts have heeded the call from legal and medical experts to release vulnerable and old inmates from inherently unsafe facilities.

    Elizabeth A. Blackwood

  5. DWI: Defending Asleep-at-the-Wheel Cases

    A lack of sleep produces many of the same effects associated with being drunk – including lack of coordination, judgment, and reaction time. Defense counsel should not allow a prosecutor, judge, or jury to dismiss consideration of sleep deprivation when it is relevant.

    Mimi Coffey

  6. Evolution of Criminal Conspiracy Law and ‘Flipping the Script’ in United States v. Elizabeth Holmes

    A conspiracy is often easier for the government to prove than the underlying substantive offenses. The upcoming wire fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the Theranos company, provides an example of the prosecution’s advantages in conspiracy law. How can the defense fight back?

    Sarah Hall, John Mitchell, and Brian Steinwascher

  7. From the President: Take Heart and Go Forward

    Without bold action, jails and prisons could become the epicenters of the coronavirus.

    Nina J. Ginsberg

  8. Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

    The “Getting Scholarship Into Court Project” brings helpful law review articles and other writings to the attention of criminal defense attorneys. The project’s purpose is to identify scholarship that will be especially useful to courts and practitioners. Summarized on this page are articles the project’s advisory board recommends that practicing lawyers take the time to read.

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

  9. Helping a Client Navigate the Complexities of Taking the Stand

    Many lawyers have represented clients who believe they want to go to trial and testify in their own defense. How do lawyers advise clients regarding this critical decision whether to testify? How should counsel integrate the client’s decision to testify (or not) throughout the remainder of the trial?

    Michael Bloch and Sean Hecker

  10. Inside NACDL: Padilla’s 10th Anniversary

    The Supreme Court’s Limited Step Triggers Awareness and a National Movement to Combat Collateral Consequences

    The decision in Padilla v. Kentucky is 10 years old. Since the Supreme Court issued its opinion, there has been a recognition that the massive network of collateral consequences that flows from a criminal conviction must be dismantled.

    Norman L. Reimer

  11. Letter to the Editor: Make the best of an unscheduled rest.

    Elmer Young’s letter to the editor reminds NACDL members to make the best use of their free time during courthouse closures stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Elmer H. Young

  12. Letter to the Editor: NACDL gift memberships help build a better defense bar.

    In her letter to the editor, Susan Walsh notes that one way to support NACDL and strengthen the defense bar is to purchase an NACDL membership for a law student.

    Susan Walsh

  13. NACDL News: Call for Prompt Implementation of Coronavirus Readiness Plans for Detention Facilities

    NACDL News for April 2020

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Kate Holden, and Madeline K. Sklar

  14. NACDL News: NACDL Applauds Repeal of the Death Penalty in Colorado

    NACDL News for April 2020

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Kate Holden, and Madeline K. Sklar

  15. NACDL News: NACDL Responds to the Coronavirus

    NACDL News for April 2020

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Kate Holden, and Madeline K. Sklar

  16. NACDL News: NACDL Sponsors Supreme Court Group Admissions Ceremony

    NACDL News for April 2020

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Kate Holden, and Madeline K. Sklar

  17. NACDL News: Statement of Principles and Further Call to Action Concerning COVID-19

    NACDL News for April 2020

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Kate Holden, and Madeline K. Sklar

  18. We the Jury: External Influences, Credible Allegations, and Juror Bias

    The Fourth Circuit in United States v. Johnson held that defendants were entitled to an evidentiary hearing pursuant to Remmer v. United States to determine if jurors remained impartial after a juror said defendants’ associates took cellphone photos of jurors during trial.

    Quintin Chatman

  19. Winning Despite DNA: The Truth You Must Reveal

    Defense attorneys should not become overwhelmed by DNA evidence and believe they have no way to challenge the allegations. Counsel can demonstrate to jurors that other plausible explanations exist.

    Jason B. Sheffield