May 2012

May 2012 Cover

As defense attorneys prepare to defend a criminal case, they must keep in mind the potential for bias in the interpretation of forensic evidence.

 

Articles in this Issue

  1. ‘Tough on Crime’: Effective or Folly? (Law Student Essay Competition)

    “Tough on crime” is a policy buzzword that is regularly bandied about to secure elections and appointments and (ostensibly) to protect the public at large from unknown and innumerable criminal elements. However, despite all the promises of a safer society, “tough on crime” initiatives have been spectacular disappointments. Society is being tough on crime when it should actually be getting “smart on crime.”

  2. Alleged Cole-Bomber Case Most Important At GTMO (Military Commissions Update)

    Additional hearings were held recently in the 9/11 terrorism trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged U.S.S. Cole bomber. On April 11 and 12, 2012, Judge Pohl finally heard oral arguments on constitutional challenges to the Guantánamo military commissions system, in addition to several discovery motions. The judge’s interactions with counsel and his forthcoming rulings will set the road map for the 9/11 case and any future commissions cases at Guantánamo. Al-Nashiri is arguably the most important case in Guantánamo.

  3. Book Review: Dead Weight

    Book Review: Dead Weight

  4. Book Review: Dynamic Cross-Examination: A Whole New Way to Create Opportunities to Win

    Book Review: Dynamic Cross-Examination: A Whole New Way to Create Opportunities to Win W. Gary Kohlman Book Review May 2012 57 Dynamic Cross-Examination: A Whole New Way to Create Opportunities to Win By James H. McComas Trial Guides LLC (2011) Reviewed by W. Gary Kohlman   James McCo

  5. Book Review: High-Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout

    Book Review: High-Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout

  6. Book Review: John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

    Book Review: John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

  7. Book Review: Professionalism in The Real World

    Book Review: Professionalism in The Real World

  8. Book Review: Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense

    Book Review: Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense

  9. Cognitive Bias and the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence

    Academics have warned of the dangers of unconscious biases among forensic examiners for years, but their arguments have gained traction in light of innovative research studies and the momentum for forensic reform brought about by the 2009 NAS report. As defense attorneys prepare to defend a criminal case, they must keep in mind the potential for bias in the interpretation of evidence. A biasing context can take many forms, including extraneous knowledge about a case or suspect, unconscious expectations and desires, knowledge of the conclusions reached by other examiners, and a ranked list of candidate matches from a database. The possibility of cognitive bias in the evaluation of forensic evidence is important information that should be conveyed to jurors so that they may reliably assess the forensic science evidence presented to them.

  10. Death Penalty Charges Referred for 9/11 Defendants(NACDL News)

    Death Penalty Charges Referred for 9/11 Defendants(NACDL News) Jack King NACDL News May 2012 8 The Pentagon formally referred charges on April 5th against five Guantánamo detainees accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. A retired admiral in charge of the military com

  11. Effectively Meeting With Elected Officials (Grassroot Advocacy)

    There are many ways to contact a legislator and build a fruitful relationship, including writing letters, making phone calls, and attending town hall meetings. But the most effective medium for educating elected officials on important issues is to set up an office meeting with the legislator and the legislator’s staff. Christopher Glen discusses how to request and prepare for a meeting, and offers tips on how to make the meeting a success.

  12. For NACDL, Modern Communication Is the Key to Lawyer Education (From The President)

    NACDL provides service and information through multiple avenues including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as NACDL’s website, listserves, E-News newsletter, webinars, and podcasts.

  13. GACDL Presents Inaugural Award to Jackson (Affiliate News)

    GACDL Presents Inaugural Award to Jackson (Affiliate News) Gerald Lippert Affiliate News May 2012 11 The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) will present its newly created G. Terry Jackson Friend of the Constitution Award to its namesake, Terry Jackson. Future honorees of this

  14. In Praise of the Exclusionary Rule(Inside NACDL)

    Is the exclusionary rule needed to deter illegal police searches?

  15. NYCBA Honors Wilford (Affiliate News)

    NYCBA Honors Wilford (Affiliate News) Gerald Lippert Affiliate News May 2012 9 The New York Criminal Bar Association (NYCBA) will honor Edward D. Wilford with its Hon. Robert Louis Cohen Award for Professional Excellence at its Annual Dinner in June. The award is presented in recognition of his man

  16. Summit Held on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act(NACDL News)

    Summit Held on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (NACDL News) Ivan J. Dominguez NACDL News May 2012 9 On April 11, NACDL participated in a roundtable discussion concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The summit — hosted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform — included senior of

  17. The Battle Between Grand Jury Subpoenas and Civil Protective Orders: The Circuit Splits Persist

    In a battle between a federal grand jury subpoena and a civil protective order, which one would prevail? It may come as a surprise, but the answer may depend on the federal circuit in which the dispute is pending. John Fatino discusses the different rules employed by the federal courts of appeals in assessing the relationship between civil protective orders and grand jury subpoenas.

  18. The Importance of the Work Defenders Do (Verbatim)

    The criminal defense bar is an integral part of the criminal justice system. If the criminal defense bar is ineffective or cannot do its job because of unreasonable laws, then the criminal justice system simply does not work.

  19. US v. Flores-Lopez: Does the Phone Booth Now Reside Inside the Phone?

    In United States v. Flores-Lopez, the Seventh Circuit held that a warrantless search of a suspect’s cell phone — for the purpose of recovering the cell phone’s phone number — did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s Warrant Clause. The court considered the burden on the police of having to “traipse” about with digital forensics hardware and having to learn how to use equipment to prevent remote wiping of information. While acknowledging that preserving cell phone content forensically in order to apply for a warrant to search a phone may not be ideal for law enforcement officers, Daniel Gelb states that it is the most rational and constitutionally sound mechanism to protect society’s expectation of cell phone privacy.

  20. Who Is an Indian? History Creates a Legal Labyrinth and Defense Opportunities

    Federal jurisdiction over Indian country crimes is statutorily circumscribed, including a requirement that either the defendant and/or the victim be an “Indian.” In years past, the government could easily establish the defendant’s status as an Indian by simply proving that the defendant was an enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe. However, tribal membership is no longer the sole determinative factor. Who is an Indian? The issue is complex and controversial. For the practitioner, its fact intensity demands a close working relationship with the client and record development. For the courts, this remains a perplexing issue and at least one circuit conflict must be resolved.