May 2014

May 2014 Cover

The time is ripe for defense counsel to object to special conditions of supervised release, particularly in sex offense cases.  


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    Affiliate news from NACDL's affiliates.

    Gerald Lippert

  2. Book Review: A Lawyer’s Journey: The Morris Dees Story

     Morris Dees is a courageous legend who has not only combated hate and the murderous Ku Klux Klan, but who has shown us what it means to truly fulfill the oath of an attorney against the onslaught of verbal criticism that many of us receive daily and against the real threat of physical violence, retribution, and even death at the hands of the notorious hate group. While the Klan wore white sheets and hoods, Dees faced them head on, eyeball to eyeball. What is surprising is not only his successful work in dismantling the despicable group, but that he is still alive to tell the story. A Lawyer’s Journey reads like a John Grisham book except for the fact that it is more spellbinding than any fictional tale.

    Thomas F. Liotti

  3. Book Review: An Officer and a Spy

    Robert Harris has written a riveting historical novel about the infamous Dreyfus Affair that saw Captain Alfred Dreyfus falsely accused in 1894 of treason for sending French military secrets to the German Embassy. The discovery that someone was passing state secrets to Germany hit the French military brass hard. They had just lost a humiliating war in 1870-71 to Prussia. The war was essentially over within the first month with the Prussian capture of Napoleon III and his army well within French borders.

    Chuck Sevilla

  4. Book Review: Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice

    In Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, the villains are the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a host of federal judges.

    Michael Leon

  5. Book Review: Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer

    As criminal defense lawyers, we often meet clients for the first time when they are at the lowest point of their lives. Many of them have been accused of heinous offenses; and in most cases, they are guilty. This leaves us wondering what caused them to commit the offense. We receive the pre-sentence investigation report, and it may mention the client’s drug use, the abuse endured, or the fact that the client was raised in a broken home. But it still doesn’t explain why. What caused our client to commit such a horrific offense

    Cara Schaefer Wieneke

  6. Book Review: Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror

    On Sept. 9, 1917, 11 Italian immigrants in Milwaukee — 10 men and one woman, all largely illiterate laborers — attended a rally staged by a lapsed Catholic evangelical proselytizer, the Reverend August Giuliani.

    James Belanger

  7. Branded for Life by the Modern Scarlet Letters: Do Convicted Sex Offenders Have Rights While on Paro

    At sentencing, defense lawyers do not listen closely as the judge reads the standard and special conditions of supervised release. As a result, lawyers frequently do not object to any special conditions. John Rhodes and Dan Donovan believe that the time is ripe to object to, and litigate, special conditions of supervised release, particularly in sex offense cases. Some circuits have limited or rejected certain special conditions for sex offenders. The authors provide tips that will help defense counsel prevent unreasonable and unconstitutional special conditions of supervised release.

    John Rhodes and Daniel Donovan

  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. Indigent Defense

    According to NACDL’s recent report surveying the various methods utilized by states to determine when an individual is indigent and entitled to appointed counsel, a majority of the states look to the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) to find out whether a defendant qualifies for court-appointed counsel. On the surface, it would seem that this might be an objective yardstick of indigence, but in practice it proves to be prone to manipulation in myriad ways. For example, states can drastically reduce the number of eligible defendants by pegging eligibility to an unreasonably low multiple of the FPG, resulting in a self-created constitutional escape hatch absolving states from having to provide counsel to individuals making as little as $11,670 annually. The report, Redefining Indigence: Financial Eligibility Guidelines for Assigned Counsel, is available on NACDL’s website.

    Marissa Elkins

  10. Interpol Red Notices and Diffusions: Powerful — And Dangerous — Tools of Global Law Enforcement

    A client, who has been under investigation in a foreign country, asks counsel if it is safe to travel internationally, or if there is a risk of arrest and detention even in countries that are not involved in the matter under investigation. That question implicates a powerful tool of global law enforcement known as a “Red Notice” and an even more powerful tool called a “Diffusion.” While Red Notices and Diffusions can serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, they are susceptible to abuse. This article sets out the basic principles of Red Notices and Diffusions, and addresses the practical questions of how to ascertain whether a client is the subject of a Red Notice or Diffusion, and, if so, how to request its cancellation.

    Jacques Semmelman and Emily Spencer Munson

  11. NACDL News: Cellphone Privacy and the Fourth Amendment at the Supreme Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on April 29 in two important cases related to law enforcement searches of cellphones incident to arrest and the Fourth Amendment. The first case, United States v. Wurie, asks if police, without obtaining a warrant, should be allowed to review an arrestee’s cellphone call log. The second case, Riley v. California, focuses on the admissibility of evidence seized through the search of an arrestee’s Smartphone without a warrant.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  12. NACDL News: Clemency Project 2014: Breathing New Life Into Clemency Process

    On April 23, 2014, Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced a new set of criteria the Justice Department and White House will use when considering clemency petitions from federal prisoners. The new criteria will help the Justice Department identify federal prisoners who, if sentenced today under current sentencing laws and policies, would likely have received a substantially lower sentence.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  13. NACDL News: Grotesque Spectacle in Oklahoma Demands Immediate End to The Death Penalty in America

    On the evening of April 29, 2014, Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett died of an apparent heart attack some 43 minutes following the state of Oklahoma administering its first injection during the execution.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  14. NACDL News: John Keker, Jan Nielsen Little Receive White Collar Criminal Defense Award

    Jan Little receives the White Collar Criminal Defense Award on March 22, 2014.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  15. NACDL News: NACDL Launches Compendium on Electronic Recording of Interrogations

    On April 30, 2014, NACDL launched a new online compendium on electronic recording of custodial interrogations. This new resource aims to assist lawyers, advocates, and members of the public interested in the electronic recording of interrogations. The compendium was compiled by NACDL member Thomas Sullivan, a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block in Chicago, Ill.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  16. NACDL News: Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Deplores Political Attacks on The Criminal Defense Functio

    While NACDL does not endorse or oppose any political candidates, NACDL does strongly deplore attacks on any attorney, including political candidates representing any political party or ideology, arising out of the attorney’s representation of clients in criminal matters.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  17. NACDL News: Overcriminalization Task Force Holds Hearing on Overfederalization of Criminal Law

    On March 27, the bipartisan House Judiciary Overcriminalization Task Force held its second hearing of 2014. The hearing focused on “overfederalization,” and the task force heard testimony from Professor James Strazzella of Temple University School of Law and Joseph I. Cassilly of the National District Attorneys Association.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  18. NACDL News: Supporting Public Defenders in Liberia

    NACDL received an invitation to provide training and technical assistance for the public defenders in Liberia.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  19. NACDL News: Supreme Court Will Examine Use of Post-Enron Law in Prosecution of Fisherman

    A case highlighting the dangerous consequences stemming from the unconstitutional executive expansion of the federal law will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 28, 2014, the Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari in Yates v. United States, a case in which the government used a post-Enron, anti-shredding statute to prosecute a fisherman for the disappearance of three fish from his shipping vessel.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  20. NACDL News: U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Reduce Drug Trafficking Sentences

    The U.S. Sentencing Commission on April 10 took another step toward making federal drug sentences more reasonable. The agency approved an amendment that would reduce the guidelines level for most drug offenses by two levels, amounting to an 11-month sentence reduction, on average. Unless Congress rejects the “drugs-minus-2” amendment, which was approved as part of a larger package of amendments, the change would go into effect Nov. 1, 2014.

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

  21. State Criminal Justice Network Legislative Update: Lessons Learned From Legislative Victories in the

    People might presume that Texas would have a governor and legislature that are hostile to criminal justice reform, but they would be mistaken in certain respects.

    Scott Ehlers

  22. The 10 Reasons For Cross-Examination

    Several reasons and methods exist for cross-examining a witness. The primary point of any cross-examination is to elicit the information that the jury needs to understand in order to decide the case in the client’s favor. Knowing the specific reason for the cross-examination allows counsel to develop the right approach and choose the proper persuasion tools.

    G. Christopher Ritter

  23. The Curse of the Three-Letter Agencies (Military Commissions Perspective)

    The FBI is alleged to have attempted to convert a member of a defense team into a confidential informant. This allegation brought Guantánamo Bay military commissions proceedings to a halt in April 2014.

    Mason C. Clutter

  24. Time to End the Scourge of Collateral Consequences: NACDL Offers a Roadmap to Restore Rights and Sta

    The collateral consequences of a conviction can impact almost every realm of human endeavor, including housing and education loans, immigration status, voting rights, the right to bear arms, and the ability to seek employment in countless professions.

    Norman L. Reimer