Washington, D.C. (August 31, 2001) - In response to revelations of falsified testimony by forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist of the Oklahoma City Police Department forensic laboratory in the case of Malcolm Rent Johnson, who was executed in January, 2000, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Irwin Schwartz issued the following statement:
"The fact that there has not been conclusive proof, at least not yet, that this defendant was innocent does not change the fact that the exposure of this incident cries out for two major changes we must make, immediately, if we are to maintain confidence and conscience in our justice system:
"First, we must have a nationwide moratorium on implementation of the death penalty, until we can assure ourselves that those on death row were convicted fairly. The stream of lab fraud cases, in Oklahoma, California, Texas, New York, West Virginia, and in federal FBI labs shows that any conviction can turn out to be less solid that it seems. With more that 90 exonerated from death row since 1973, and more than 90 freed from prisons by DNA evidence in just the last few years, our sense of honor and fairness is at stake.
"Second, many of these incidents of falsified evidence would be uncovered if the federal government, and a number of states, would adopt fair discovery practices. The states that allow full and fair discovery have not experienced significant problems with the administration of justice, and they offer defendants a much better opportunity to mount a defense that prevents conviction by jury mistake."
Pattern Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses: A Trial Strategy & Resource Guide
In a criminal trial, cross-examination of the prosecution’s forensic expert may make the difference between victory or defeat.
2020 Sample Motions Collection Update
NACDL’s 2020 Sample Motions Collection is the follow-up to our wildly popular 2019 Sample Motions Collection and contains the newest and most recent additions to our ever-expanding Sample Motions library.
State v. Stone - A Case Study on Child Sexual Molestation & Sexual Battery
The criminal defense attorney tasked with defending such a case has to be prepared to not only show reasonable doubt, but to answer this question: If it did not happen, how is it that the child believes it did happen?
POZNER ON CROSS: Advanced Cross of Experts & Officers in DUI Cases
It’s not your strong opening argument. It’s not how many of your impassioned objections the judge sustains. It’s not even how you tie your theory of the case together with a dazzling closing statement bow. What wins your trial is your cross.
This is a sponsored ad
Generating Qualified Leads for NACDL Attorneys
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 justice system.