Washington, DC (November 5, 2003) -- On October 31, at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 2003 Fall Meeting in New Orleans, criminal defense attorney, former Georgia state senator, and lifelong civil rights activist Gary Parker received the prestigious Champion of Indigent Defense award. Awarded once a year, the Champion of Indigent Defense award recognizes a group or individual for outstanding efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or national indigent defense system, through legislation, litigation, or other methods.
Parker received the award not only for his lifelong commitment to ensuring that indigent defendants receive adequate representation, but also for his recent efforts in the passage of legislation in the Georgia state legislature that will overhaul the state’s indigent defense system. A graduate of Howard University School of Law, Parker began his practice representing the poor in 1980, as a Reginald Heber Community Lawyer Fellow with the Georgia Legal Services office in Columbus. He then went into private practice in Columbus, which included representing individuals facing the death penalty. At the time, the judicial circuit that included Columbus sent more people to death row than any other jurisdiction in Georgia. However, partly due to Parker’s diligent efforts over the next 20 years, the torrent of capital cases was reduced to a trickle. Parker has represented more than a dozen capital defendants, over 80 percent on a pro bono basis. In 2003, Parker crowned his more than 25-year effort to ensure that poor criminal defendants receive competent legal counsel by using his political savvy as a driving force to convince the Georgia General Assembly to pass the 2003 Georgia Indigent Defense Act. Through years of dedicated efforts across the spectrum of the criminal justice system in Georgia, Parker paved the road for this level of legislative reform, demonstrating his worthiness as this year’s recipient of the Champion of Indigent Defense award.
Upon accepting the award, Parker called on all members of the bar to take appropriate action to see that indigent defendants receive effective assistance of counsel. Regarding the responsibility of the defense bar in the representation of the indigent accused, Parker noted, “Defense lawyers need to stand up and say ''enough is enough'' and step up and defend poor folks.” He continued, “Defense lawyers have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that everyone who needs a lawyer has a lawyer." Parker concluded that whether through individual representation of indigent clients, pro bono work, or a donation of time and resources, all lawyers share the responsibility of ensuring that the quality of representation of those accused of crimes does not depend on the amount of money one has.
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.