January/February 2014

January/February 2014 Cover

How must defense attorneys advise clients in the wake of Salinas v. Texas? How can counsel combat the government's use of lost evidence? Find out in this issue of The Champion.


Articles in this Issue

  1. A Call to End Prospective Waivers of Judicial Disqualification in Accountability Courts

    The ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC), Rule 2.11: Disqualification, provides: “A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned. …”1 

    Christopher C. Edwards and Jacob B. Vail

  2. Affiliate News

    Affiliate News Gerald Lippert Affiliate News January/February 2014 14 www.nacdl.org/affiliates   2014 NACDL & Affiliate CLE Calendar March 5-8 NACDL’s Midwinter Meeting & Seminar ‘Preventing & Mitigating the Domino Effect of Criminal Convictions’, InterContinental Hotel

    Gerald Lippert

  3. Book Review: Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought f

    Manifest Injustice is energetic, engaging, and emotional. The true tale of a murder mystery spanning half a century, it contrasts shoddy police work with energetic investigation by law students. It is a tale  featuring hope and despair, and is an incredible saga for 21st century, scientifically savvy America.

    Susan Elizabeth Reese

  4. Capital Punishment in America: A Steady Decline — But Still a Long Way to Go (Inside NACDL)

    Capital punishment is on the wane. Executions and the number of states that permit capital punishment both declined in 2012. Moreover, the ABA Death Penalty Due Process Review Project identified 12 distinct flaws that are prevalent in jurisdictions that still allow capital punishment. These flaws create an unacceptably high risk of injustice and inadequate safeguards to minimize the potential that innocent people will be executed.

    Norman L. Reimer

  5. From the President: Bending Toward Justice

    While we have started to deliver justice to the immense racial inequality that Dr. Martin Luther Ling worked to address, the presence of racial inequality in the criminal justice system remains both rife and intolerable. NACDL has raised awareness of the problem while simultaneously providing activists and policy makers with the type of concrete proposals necessary to effect desirable change.

    Jerry J. Cox

  6. 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.

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

  7. Intellectual Disability: A Digest of Complex Concepts in Atkins Proceedings

    In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Atkins v. Virginia,1 which categorically banned the death penalty for defendants who have intellectual disability.2 Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Atkins, hundreds of capital defendants’ cases have come before state and federal courts for factual determination of the presence of this disability. A review of these cases demonstrates that courts, attorneys, law enforcement, and forensic experts have limited understanding of the scientific fundamentals of a diagnosis of intellectual disability.

    Nancy Haydt

  8. NACDL News: Champion Special Issue on Brady Wins Prestigious Award

    The May 2013 issue of The Champion magazine — Perspectives on Brady at 50 — was named the winner of min’s 2013 Editorial & Design Award in the category of Print/Online Coverage of a Single Topic.

    Isaac Kramer

  9. NACDL News: Court Dismisses NACDL Lawsuit Challenging Border Searches

    On Dec. 31, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman dismissed Abidor v. Napolitano, more than two years after oral argument on the government’s Motion to Dismiss the case.

    Mason Clutter

  10. NACDL News: Court Finds Systemic Violation of Indigent Defendants’ Right to Counsel

    On Dec. 5, 2013, in the case of Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon, et al., one of a number of cases challenging systemic deficiencies in the delivery of indigent defense services across the nation, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington found systemic violations of defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel by the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington, Washington, and ordered injunctive relief.

    Ivan J. Dominguez

  11. NACDL News: President Obama Surprises With Rare Exercise of Clemency Power

    The White House announced on Dec. 19, 2013, that President Barack Obama granted clemency to 21 individuals — eight commutations and 13 pardons.

    Ivan J. Dominguez

  12. NACDL News: Racial Disparities Conference

    On Dec. 6, 2013, NACDL, along with the Foundation for Criminal Justice, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, hosted an all-day convening entitled Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System – Advancing the Reform Dialogue Through Action.

    Ivan J. Dominguez

  13. Silence Is No Longer Golden: How Lawyers Must Now Advise Suspects in Light of Salinas v. Texas

    Almost 70 years ago, Justice Robert Jackson made the following observation in Watts v. Indiana: “[A]ny lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances.”1 But after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Salinas v. Texas,2 Justice Jackson’s once-stalwart advice could be tantamount to malpractice if police question a suspect in a noncustodial context. Silence is no longer golden.

    Neal Davis and Dick DeGuerin

  14. The Government’s Use of Lost Evidence

    Imagine an individual is accused of a horrific crime. The prosecution claims that it has a voluminous amount of evidence against the defendant. It parades experts before the jury to testify how this evidence links the defendant to the crime — and yet all of this evidence has been lost. Some of this lost evidence could possibly exonerate the accused. The defendant is not, however, given the opportunity to examine or test the volumes of evidence presented at trial that supposedly establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the defendant is left to challenge this evidence through cross-examination and based on pictures of the real evidence. Surely this sort of scenario cannot satisfy the promise of due process of law contained in the U.S. Constitution. Yet astonishingly, according to some courts, it does.

    Marcia G. Shein