Washington, DC (September 23, 2003) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers welcomes today's decision by the federal courts' policy-making body to seek repeal of recent restrictions on judicial sentencing discretion. The Feeney Amendment, which was enacted April 30, 2003, as an amendment to a popular child protection bill, calls for restrictions on the authority of federal judges to impose sentences outside the narrow range specified by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Since 1987, federal sentencing discretion has been limited by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which prescribe sentencing ranges based primarily on the type of offense and the defendant's criminal history.
E.E. "Bo" Edwards, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, today issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the Judicial Conference to seek repeal of certain provisions of the PROTECT Act:
"The Feeney Amendment represents an unwarranted attack on the independence of the federal judiciary. It's also bad sentencing policy. No sentencing system can predict the full range of offense and offender characteristics relevant to sentencing. Without judicial discretion to tailor the punishment based on unforeseen circumstances, our criminal justice system metes out one-size-fits-all sentences that are frequently too harsh. Congress should let judges be judges."
A news release issued by the Judicial Conference notes the JUDGES Act, which is pending in both the House and Senate as H.R. 2213 and S. 1086, respectively, would repeal many of the provisions of the PROTECT Act that limit judicial discretion.
To read the Judicial Conference news release, visit http://www.uscourts.gov/Press_Releases/jc903.pdf.
For more information on the PROTECT Act and JUDGES Act, visit http://www.nacdl.org/departures.
Edwards is a criminal defense lawyer in Nashville. He can be reached at (615) 356-5137.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!
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.