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."
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
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.