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NACDL News: U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Sixth Amendment Right to Defense Counsel of One’s Choice
In a widely awaited decision concerning the right to counsel and the government’s pretrial seizure of a defendant’s assets, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 30, 2016, that a defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to use her own “innocent” property to pay a reasonable fee for the assistance of counsel. The issue arose in Luis v. United States (14-419) when a grand jury charged Sila Luis with paying kickbacks and engaging in other crimes related to health care.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in May 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Stakeholders Meet to Discuss Alternative Sentencing
Criminal justice stakeholders met in Washington, D.C., on March 7-8, 2016, to engage in a dialogue focused on priorities for expanding the use of effective alternative sentencing programs.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in May 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: New Report Investigates South Carolina Courts That Convict and Jail Defendants Without a Lawyer Present
Municipal and magistrate courts in South Carolina routinely violate the Sixth Amendment rights of individuals who are accused of low-level offenses and cannot afford an attorney, says a report by NACDL and the ACLU.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in May 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: NACDL Press to Publish Book by Defense Attorney Andrea D. Lyon
On March 28, 2016, NACDL announced that its publishing unit, NACDL Press, will publish a groundbreaking work on women in criminal defense by leading criminal defense attorney, legal scholar, Dean and Professor of Law at Valparaiso University School of Law, and decades-long NACDL member Andrea D. Lyon. The book is expected to be released in 2017 and will be titled “The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense.” In this work, Ms. Lyon will tell the stories of women lawyers who are in criminal defense — public and private — but are not necessarily on the speakers’ circuit or otherwise well known.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in May 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Clemency Project 2014 Applauds Commutation of 61 Federal Prison Sentences
In his first clemency grants since December 2015, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 61 prisoners on March 30, 2016, 25 of whom were applicants whose petitions were supported by Clemency Project 2014.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in May 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Steve Komie Presents Flag to Gerry Morris
NACDL Life Member Stephen M. Komie (left) presents the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol to NACDL President E.G. “Gerry” Morris on Feb. 20, 2016. The flag flew over the Capitol for NACDL on June 15, 2015, at the request of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, to mark the occasion of the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in April 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: NACDL Welcomes Forensics Initiatives Announced by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates
Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates delivered important remarks on Feb. 24, 2016, during the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting hosted by the American Academy of Forensic Science in Las Vegas, Nev. In those remarks, there is a clear recognition of the importance of the integrity and reliability of that which is admitted as forensic science in criminal trials in America. Forensic science “brings all of us closer to the truth — whether it’s identifying the perpetrator of a crime or clearing the innocent,” Yates said.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in April 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Flawed Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Testimony Leads to New Trial for George Perrot
On Jan. 26, 2016, George D. Perrot was granted a new trial in Massachusetts based on newly discovered evidence that the FBI’s microscopic hair comparison testimony contained scientifically invalid statements. The court found that the hair examiner’s testimony was “enormously influential” and material to the convictions. This decision follows a trend in recognizing that evolving science constitutes newly discovered evidence.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in April 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Criminal Defense Bar Presents Radley Balko With Champion of Justice Journalism Award
On Feb. 19, 2016, at its midwinter seminar and meeting in Austin, Texas, NACDL presented Washington Post journalist, investigative reporter, and blogger Radley Balko with its Champion of Justice Journalism Award.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in April 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
NACDL News: Criminal Defense Bar Applauds Administration’s Efforts to Close Guantánamo, but Says Framework Falls Short
On Feb. 23, 2016, the Obama administration released what it says is a “Plan for Closing the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility.” While that plan contains serious deficiencies, the administration is to be commended for continuing its effort to at long last shutter the detention facility. Of particular note are the provisions that would facilitate the transfer of those detainees who have been cleared and speed up the pace of the review of the remaining candidates for transfer.
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier in April 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
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