News Release

Criminal defense bar to commend judge for courageous remarks in Wen Ho Lee case

NM Gov. Johnson to bring anti-prohibition message 

Santa Fe, NM (November 2, 2011) -- Overreaching by the government is nothing new to most criminal defense lawyers. Seeing a judge note the overreaching is more rare. Seeing a judge speak out against it, in open court, is almost unheard of.

"They did not embarrass me alone. They have embarrassed our entire nation and each of us who is a citizen of it," said U.S. District Judge James Parker at the sentencing of Wen Ho Lee in September, 2000, referring to conduct of the Department of Justice and other federal agencies.

Lee was freed after nine months in pre-trial solitary confinement, having pled guilty to one count regarding mis-handling of classified information. The government dropped 58 additional charges.

Today, at a luncheon as part of their fall meeting in Santa Fe, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will give an award of special recognition to Judge Parker for his courageous remarks.

Following the presentation to Judge Parker, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will give the keynote address, discussing the failure of the war on drugs and his "harm reduction" strategy for rational drug policy.

NACDL passed a resolution calling for an end to the war on drugs at its fall meeting last year in New York. The text of the resolution can be found on NACDL’s Web site,, at the following URL: 

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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.