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Washington, DC (February 10, 2011) – Today, a diverse coalition of the nation’s leading criminal justice reform organizations released Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the Administration and Congress among the most comprehensive reports ever published to address the problems confronting America’s criminal justice system.
In its review of virtually every major criminal justice issue—from overcriminalization to forensic science—from juvenile justice to the death penalty—and from indigent defense to executive clemency— the report serves as both a source of information and a spur to action for the Administration and Congress.
Just two days before the release of the Smart on Crime report, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) reintroduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act which would “create a blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission of experts charged with undertaking an 18-month top-to-bottom review” of the nation’s criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform. The establishment of such a commission is among the major recommendations of the report.
Virginia Sloan, President of The Constitution Project, said about Smart on Crime, “The criminal justice system is supposed to be about justice—for victims, for those rightly and wrongly accused and convicted of crimes, and for all of us. But a system that costs too much and makes so many mistakes provides justice for no one. Smart on Crime contains an ever-increasing and bipartisan consensus on how to fix the problems that have for too long plagued the system.”
In addition to its recommendation that a National Criminal Justice Commission be formed, the report—developed and published by the Smart on Crime Coalition, a group of more than 40 bipartisan organizations and individuals—offers nearly 100 detailed policy recommendations across 16 criminal justice areas. While contributors do not necessarily have positions on each issue addressed, there was universal agreement that the current system—with its rampant cost, inefficiency, and injustices—is in urgent need of reform.
“Overcriminalization of federal law threatens every American’s liberty and drains the public coffers with pointless prosecutions and unnecessary incarcerations,” said Norman Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “We urge every elected official to end the madness that has produced over 4,450 federal criminal statutes, and countless tens of thousands more arising from the unchecked power of regulatory authorities.”
A Smart on Crime Web site was also created to provide policy-makers, media and the public with quick and easy access to the report. In addition, visitors to besmartoncrime.org can hear report contributors share their insights on criminal justice system problems and solutions in videotaped interviews.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
Paul Cates- Innocence Project; firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Conyers- Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; email@example.com
Dallas Jamison- The Constitution Project; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack King- National Assoc. of Criminal Defense Lawyers; email@example.com and Ivan Dominguez; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanine Plant-Chirlin- Brennan Center for Justice; email@example.com
Monica Pratt- Families Against Mandatory Minimums; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.