Washington, DC (April 4, 2011) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) agrees with Attorney General Eric Holder’s assessment that the federal courts have proven to be an unparalleled instrument for trying terrorism cases. The federal courts have handled numerous terrorism cases with just, reliable results without security breaches and federal prosecutors have the tools for prosecuting persons believed to be terrorists, including over 40 specific terrorism statutes and nearly 100 other federal laws.
But when the attorney general spoke of “bring[ing] the conspirators to justice,” he was ignoring the constitutional and common law mandate that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. That principle is the bedrock upon which our system of justice is founded.
The military commission system is not about seeking justice as much as it is about obtaining convictions. At Guantanamo, the detainees are presumed guilty by virtue of their detention, and are hamstrung in defending themselves.
“Despite some cosmetic changes since the Bush-era commissions, the commission rules still permit the government to introduce secret evidence, hearsay and statements obtained through coercion,” said the association’s Executive Director, Norman Reimer. “NACDL maintains that the rules and procedures for these commission trials raise serious questions about the government’s commitment to constitutional principles upon which our country was founded. Therefore a vigorous and properly resourced defense is essential.”
If the Department of Defense decides to seek the death penalty for any detainee, NACDL calls upon the Convening Authority to ensure that adequate funding and resources are provided to defense counsel to ensure that the commission proceedings comport with the American Bar Association’s Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases and the capital defense provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In the long term, the best weapon in the war on terror is adherence to the Bill of Rights. True Americans accept no less.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!
NACDL Communications Department
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.