News Release

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Deplores Political Attacks on the Criminal Defense Function

Washington, DC (May 9, 2014) – While the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) does not endorse or oppose any candidates for office in any branch of government, NACDL does strongly deplore attacks on any attorney, including candidates representing any political party or ideology, arising out of the attorney’s representation of clients in criminal matters. Most recently, this disgraceful line of attack has reared its head in the Arkansas Supreme Court race. There, it is being reported that a political action committee is launching an ad campaign that includes attacks on Tim Cullen, a candidate for the Arkansas Supreme Court, arising out of his appellate representation of a client, to which case he was appointed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. This comes on the heels of similar attacks in the South Carolina gubernatorial race and the debate surrounding the nomination of Debo Adegbile for the position of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice.

NACDL President Jerry J. Cox said: "The idea of attacking someone simply for fulfilling the mandate of the United States Constitution to provide every accused person with a defense attorney is inconsistent with the nation's fundamental values. The founders of this nation recognized that no person should ever stand alone when the government seeks to condemn, imprison, or kill a person. To suggest that one's qualifications for the bench are diminished for having lived up to the ideal of the right to counsel is an ill-conceived line of attack."

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Ivan Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, (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.