Board of Directors ~ 2/20/16

Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Renaming the Champion of Indigent Defense Award  

Austin, Texas
February 20, 2016

WHERAS NACDL is committed to supporting and improving public defense in the United States; and

WHERAS NACDL acts on its commitment to public defense reform through many strategic approaches, including education and resources for the bar, policy advocacy, strategic communication, and others; and

WHEREAS NACDL established the Champion of Indigent Defense award on May 5, 2001 to recognize group and individuals who demonstrate outstanding efforts to make positive changes to local, county, statewide, or national public defense systems; and

WHEREAS NACDL has bestowed its Champion of Indigent Defense award upon twelve people for their exceptional efforts to improve public; and

WHEREAS NACDL proclaims the fundamental truth that public reliance upon appointed counsel to fulfill the mandates of the Sixth Amendment is not limited to those who are “indigent”; and

WHEREAS in its many efforts to document the reform needs of the public defense systems, NACDL has repeatedly demonstrated that in the American criminal justice system, someone accused of misconduct may need and deserve representation by a public defense attorney even if that person is not “indigent” by the various controlling definitions, rules, and statutes; and

WHEREAS NACDL believes that quality, effective representation of all people accused of crime is a public benefit; and

WHEREAS NACDL has formally abandoned the antiquated nomenclature of “indigent defense” and will henceforth refer to its work in this area as public defense; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that NACDL changes the name of its Champion of Indigent Defense Award to Champion of Public Defense Award, effective immediately.

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