News Release

Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Governmental "Forum Shopping"

Statement of Gerald B. Lefcourt, President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Amicus Curiae

Washington, DC (June 1, 1998) -- NACDL President Gerald B. Lefcourt, New York City, issued the following statement in support of today's unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Cabrales, No. 97-643:

"As argued in our friend of the court brief, the government's attempt to try Vickie Cabrales in Missouri, for conduct which they claim she engaged in in Florida, amounts to unconstitutional governmental forum shopping. Article III of the Constitution states flatly that the trial of all crimes shall he held in the state where the crimes are committed. That's very clear language. Granting the government's request for relief in this case would have been an unprecedented and unwarranted expansion of the government's power to choose the place of trial. It would have seriously impaired the ability of defendants everywhere to receive a fair trial in complicated financial and perhaps other kinds of complex cases." 

Professor Steven Wisotsky, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, authored NACDL's amicus curiae brief in support of respondent Vickie Cabrales.

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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.