It is NACDL’s position that categorical legislative prohibitions of defenses in criminal cases chip away at the foundational principles of our criminal justice system and undermine well-established rules of evidence that serve to balance principles of relevance and due process rights of accused persons. Legislation that focuses on limiting certain defenses and the consequential media attention that follows encourages the public to believe that trials are conducted by judges mechanically applying the law instead of through an adversarial process culminating in a fair jury verdict that is based on a thorough and searching consideration of all of the relevant evidence at trial.
On February 16, 2019, after significant study by NACDL's Task Force on Defenses, NACDL's Board of Directors adopted a resolution "Concerning Categorical Legislative Prohibitions of Defenses in Criminal Cases."
On October 23, 2019, NACDL Past President Nina J. Ginsberg testified before the Washington, D.C. City Council Judiciary and Public Safety Committee regarding B23-409 and B23-435. The legislation "limits the scope of the defenses of heat of passion caused by adequate provocation, insanity, self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property if certain elements of the defense are based on the victim's actual or percieved gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation."
B23-0409 was signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser on January 15, 2021.
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!