News Release

Statement of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on the Presidential Pardon of Rogue Former Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Washington, DC (Aug. 26, 2017) – Rick Jones, President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), issued the following statement concerning last night’s pardon by the U.S. President of former Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

“Reinforcing a tremendous sense of fear and foreboding among large cross-sections of some of the most vulnerable groups living in the United States, President Trump last night pardoned former Sheriff Arpaio, who stands convicted of blatantly disregarding a federal court order preventing the illegal detention of individuals without charge based simply on the suspicion they are undocumented.

“NACDL is very troubled by this use of the executive power to grant mercy, for the very first time by President Trump, before the judicial process is completed, and where there has been no evidence of contrition or acknowledgement of wrongdoing. This pardon reinforces an extremely disturbing pattern of conduct by this President who, through his words and his deeds, has shown disdain for the co-equal Judicial Branch of government as well as the actual and potential victims of constitutional abuse. We are fast spiraling into a moment of constitutional crisis, and those of us who are required to stand behind the Constitution must not remain silent when the power of government is used to perpetuate injustice.”

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Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & 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.