December 2015

December 2015 Cover

Does the defense always need its own forensic pathologist in a homicide case?


Articles in this Issue

  1. ‘And the Hits Just Keep on Coming’ — The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction for Health

    For a health care professional, the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction go beyond licensure problems. The collateral consequences can be more serious than fines and perhaps as serious as prison. As a practical matter, the collateral consequences can prevent a defendant from earning a living in the health care industry. The authors explore the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction for health care professionals so that a defense attorney can advise a client of the potential consequences of a plea.

  2. Affiliate News

    Affiliate News for December 2015 Champion.

  3. Book Review: The Eternal Criminal Record

    “Every police officer has the power to stigmatize any person with a lifelong arrest record.” Federal and state repositories hold criminal records on over a quarter of the U.S. adult population. They often lack accuracy, clarity, and completeness. About half of FBI rap sheets contain no disposition content. By 2014, only half the states had unified computer-searchable court records. Very few have information on the disposition of criminal cases online. Created for virtually every arrest, regardless of severity or judicial outcome, their publication can have onerous effects.

  4. Book Review: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

    From an outsider’s perspective, Jeff Hobbs meticulously crafts a haunting yet honest account of his college roommate’s life story while also managing to explain the grave societal causes for his demise. Robert Peace was not your average molecular biophysics graduate from Yale, and he certainly did not define himself by this accomplishment. Born right outside Newark, N.J., to a hard working mother named Jackie and an engaged albeit drug-dealing father called Skeet, Robert quickly became known by those close to him as a young genius — even as a toddler, his teachers referred to Rob as “the Professor” due to his great intellectual abilities. When Rob was 10 years old, two women were found dead in the same apartment building in which Skeet lived. Poor evidence linked Rob’s beloved father to the scene of the crime; he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

  5. Capital Cases

    Capital litigation attorney Elizabeth Franklin-Best writes that the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recently published death penalty decision, Glossip v. Gross, has become more notable for Justice Breyer’s dissent than for its “reticent journey into the murky wilds of legal injection jurisprudence.” Breyer calls for full reconsideration of the constitutionality of the death penalty as a punishment and offers a road map for challenges going forward. Franklin-Best also discusses other death penalty cases from the 2014-2015 Term as well as the death penalty cases to be argued in the 2015-2016 Term.

  6. From the President: Asset Forfeiture — Will the Government Be Given the Power to Deny an Accused the

    In Luis v. United States, the government argued that both Caplin & Drysdale and Monsanto should be extended to authorize the pretrial restraint of untainted assets even if this leaves the defendant unable to hire a defense attorney, unless the defendant has assets over and above the amount of the potential fines and restitution that may result from a criminal conviction. However, the pretrial restraint of assets not traceable to criminal wrongdoing simply goes too far.

  7. Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project December 2015 Champion.

  8. Grassroots Advocacy: Effectively Engaging Your Elected Officials

    Individuals and advocacy organizations can take an active role in a state’s legislative process in a number of ways. They can attend legislative events, testify at committee hearings, and meet with elected officials.

  9. Inside NACDL: The Connection Between the Public Defense System and Other Problems In the Criminal Ju

    Mass incarceration and mass prosecution are big problems in the criminal justice system. Norman Reimer offers two solutions.

  10. Is It Really a Homicide? Working With and Crossing the Pathologist In a Gunshot Case

    Gunshot wounds are often the cause of death in homicide cases. Deja Vishny provides some basic information to help defense attorneys examine a homicide case before trial, decide whether they need to retain their own forensic pathologist, and effectively conduct trial cross-examination of the doctor who performed the autopsy.

  11. NACDL News: BJA Commences Right To Counsel Campaign

    Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta delivers the keynote address at the Nov. 10, 2015, launch of the Bureau of Justice Assistance-led “Right to Counsel National Campaign,” an initiative that brings together a consortium of justice system stakeholders who will address the challenges faced in providing adequate public defense services to defendants unable to afford an attorney. “The right to counsel embodies our nation’s founding ideal that justice must remain immune from the inequalities that pervade other areas of society,” Gupta said. “It encompasses the undeniable truth that in our Constitution, before our courts and under our laws, all citizens are equal.” NACDL is a member of the steering committee of the Right to Counsel Campaign. NACDL President E.G. “Gerry” Morris and NACDL Executive Norman L. Reimer also spoke at the launch event.

  12. NACDL News: Hon. John Gleeson Receives Defense Bar’s Judicial Recognition Award

    United States District Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York received the prestigious Judicial Recognition Award on Oct. 22, 2015, from NACDL at the Association’s 11th annual white collar seminar and fall board meeting at Fordham University School of Law. NACDL presents its Judicial Recognition Award to acknowledge judges who demonstrate a continuing dedication to protecting democratic principles and the fundamental rights of individuals within American society.

  13. NACDL News: Lower Court Dismisses Lawsuit to Stop Mass Government Surveillance

    A federal district court in Maryland on Oct. 23, 2015, granted a motion by the government to dismiss Wikimedia, et al. v. NSA, a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of several organizations, including NACDL. The lawsuit challenges the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass interception and searching of Americans’ international Internet communications. The court held that the group of plaintiffs had not made plausible allegations that their communications were, in fact, being monitored by the NSA.

  14. NACDL News: Mens Rea Legislation Introduced In House and Senate

    On Nov. 16, 2015, bipartisan leadership from the House Judiciary Committee and House Crime Subcommittee introduced important legislation to address the erosion in the criminal intent, or mens rea, requirement in federal criminal law, legislation which on Nov. 18 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Since at least 2009, as evidenced by the House Crime Subcommittee’s first hearing on the “Over-criminalization and Over-federalization of Criminal Law,” Members have been interested in the importance that criminal intent requirements play in a fair and rational criminal justice system.

  15. NACDL News: NACDL President E.G. ‘Gerry’ Morris Testifies Before Criminal Justice Act Review Committ

    On Nov. 17, 2015, NACDL President E.G. “Gerry” Morris testified on behalf of the Association at a public hearing of the Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Program of the Judicial Conference of the United States in Santa Fe, N.M.

  16. NACDL News: Sentencing Reform Legislation Advances in Both House and Senate

    The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) is moving rapidly in the Senate with its advancement in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 22, 2015, by a 15-5 vote. This bipartisan legislation would reduce certain mandatory minimum sentences, expand opportunities to avoid mandatory minimums, and make the 2010 crack sentencing reductions retroactive, while at the same time create two new mandatory minimum sentences and expand the application of others. The bill also includes provisions relating to re-entry, compassionate release, and juvenile justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on October 19th where it heard testimony from nine witnesses, including Deputy Attorney General Yates and representatives from the NAACP, Prison Fellowship Ministries, The Sentencing Project, the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, the Manhattan Institute, and a formally incarcerated individual. The legislation now moves to the Senate floor. Several Judiciary Committee leaders and members introduced a narrower House version (H.R. 3713) on Oct. 8, and it was passed by the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote on Nov. 18.

  17. Strictissimi Juris: The First Amendment’s Defense Against Conspiracy Charges

    Most criminal defense attorneys and criminal law scholars have never heard of the strictissimi juris doctrine. Steven Morrison addresses that knowledge gap and offers instructions for defending clients who are engaged in First Amendment-protected conduct and are charged with conspiracy. He provides a brief history of strictissimi juris, presents concrete potential uses of the doctrine, and discusses the contents of the motion defense attorneys should file when arguing that the doctrine applies.