News Release

NACDL Statement on Juneteenth National Independence Day

Washington, DC (June 19, 2021) – Today, the nation marks Juneteenth National Independence Day. The statement below is from NACDL President Christopher W. Adams:

“NACDL, which had already recognized Juneteenth as an important holiday, commends the political branches for establishing a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery. But a century and half of systemic racism in the criminal legal system since Emancipation reminds us that there is a wide gulf between freedom and equality. Let us hope that someday we will have a national holiday to celebrate the day when the nation’s criminal legal system finally offers equality and humanity for all regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status.”

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Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.