August 2023

August 2023 Cover

Defense lawyers cannot sit back and expect prosecutors to fulfill their obligation to produce Brady material. How can defense lawyers be proactive in seeking Brady evidence?


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

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

    Jessica Stepan

  2. Book Review: In the Lions’ Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment by Graham Spanier

    This month Susan Elizabeth Reese reviews In the Lions’ Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment by Graham Spanier.

    Susan Elizabeth Reese

  3. Book Review: Up Against the Law: Radical Lawyers and Social Movements by Luca Falciola

    This month Tova Indritz reviews Up Against the Law: Radical Lawyers and Social Movements by Luca Falciola.

    Tova Indritz

  4. Busting the Durable Myth That US Self-Defense Law Uniquely Fails to Protect Human Life

    Self-defense is one of criminal law’s most controversial topics, and there is one thing that people get wrong about it: a lot of people claim that U.S. self-defense law is exceptionally severe by international standards. This belief fails to recognize that U.S. self-defense law is, in fact, very much within the international mainstream.

    T. Markus Funk

  5. Defenders Getting Their Due in Pursuit of Mr. Brady

    Brady v. Maryland is 60 years old, but defense lawyers still are not receiving all the Brady evidence that is available. Thousands of individuals have been exonerated by DNA and other evidence, and Brady violations have contributed to the injustices suffered. For this reason alone, defense lawyers must be proactive in their Brady explorations. Federal defender V. Natasha Perdew Silas explains what being proactive means.

    V. Natasha Perdew Silas

  6. From the President: NACDL’s Task Force on Prosecutorial Accountability

    Many defense lawyers have experienced prosecutorial misconduct. In confronting the misconduct of prosecutors, defense lawyers must be up to the task of litigating it and making the necessary record to preserve it.

    Michael P. Heiskell

  7. Perspective: Revisiting ‘The Federal Prosecutor’: Robert H. Jackson’s Vision of American Justice

    Prosecutors hold the power to destroy reputations and revoke the personal liberties of any citizen, whether or not that citizen is guilty of anything. Such power should be used judiciously.

  8. Pozner on Cross: Flipping the Script

    Sometimes a prosecution witness did part of his or her job well, and as a result, the evidence found assists the defense team. Defense counsel can flip the script by causing a prosecution witness to vouch for evidence that favors the client.

    Larry Pozner

  9. Prosecutorial Misconduct Requiring Dismissal of Federal Criminal Cases

    Defense attorney Diana Parker writes that dismissals of federal criminal cases often arise from prosecutorial misconduct in areas related to the government’s failure to create or produce discovery. She opines that the federal government should be confident and liberal in making full disclosure in its cases because, presumably, the government critically examined the cases before bringing charges.

    Diana D. Parker

  10. Shotgun Wads

    What They Are, What They Do, How Far They Fly, and What They Can Reveal About What Happened

    The suspect said he fired his gun straight up in the air on the night officers surrounded his home. The prosecutor said the suspect fired in the direction of a police officer, striking and killing him. Did the suspect shoot the officer, or did another police officer shoot him? Figuring out who shot the officer requires an investigation of shotgun wads. What are shotgun wads? What can they tell us? Steven Howard explains.

    Steven Howard