2020 News Release Archive

NACDL’s Public Affairs & Communications Department issues news releases on behalf of the association concerning developing news events as well as announcements and policy positions of the association.


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News Release ~ 10/13/2020

NACDL Trial Penalty Clemency Project Submits First Set of Petitions to White House -- Washington, DC (Oct. 13, 2020) – On October 2, 2020, NACDL’s Trial Penalty Clemency Project submitted its first set of federal clemency petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney and to the White House.

News Release ~ 09/23/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Launches Full Disclosure Project to Enable Defenders to Overcome Law Enforcement Secrecy Laws and Expose Misconduct -- Washington, DC (Sept. 23, 2020) – In the midst of a critically important national conversation about systemic racism, social justice, and police accountability, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) today announces the launch of the Full Disclosure Project to disrupt the culture of secrecy that shields law enforcement misconduct.

News Release ~ 09/21/20b

Alice Marie Johnson Receives Champion of Justice Community Advocacy Award from the Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar  Alice Marie Johnson was awarded the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Champion of Justice Community Advocacy Award on September 17, 2020 by Immediate Past President Nina J. Ginsberg during the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ) virtual gala, Justice for All. Justice Now.

News Release ~ 09/21/20

Bryan Stevenson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nation's Criminal Defense Bar — Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), was awarded the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Lifetime Achievement Award on September 17, 2020, by NACDL President Christopher W. Adams during the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ) virtual gala, Justice for All. Justice Now.

News Release ~ 08/18/2020

Phil Cherner Receives the 2020 Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award from Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar -- Washington, DC (Aug. 18, 2020) – On August 18, 2020, Phil Cherner, Board Chair of Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, was presented with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ (NACDL) Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award at NACDL's 19th Annual State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) conference, which was held online this year.

News Release ~ 08/17/2020

2020-21 Officers and Newly-Elected and Re-Elected Members of the NACDL Board of Directors Sworn in at Annual Meeting -- Washington, DC (Aug. 17, 2020) - NACDL installed newly-elected officers and directors at its Annual Board and Membership Meeting on August 15.

News Release ~ 08/17/2020

Charleston, SC, Lawyer Christopher W. Adams Sworn In as President of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar -- Washington, DC (Aug. 17, 2020) -- Christopher W. Adams of Charleston, SC, was sworn in as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association's annual meeting held on August 15. Stephen B. Bright, Harvey L. Karp Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and former Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, administered the oath of office.

News Release ~ 08/12/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Welcomes New Title IX Regulations, Calls the Restoration of Due Process on Campus ‘Essential’ -- Washington, DC (Aug. 12, 2020) – New regulations released in May relating to the implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 are set to take effect this Friday, August 14, 2020. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has long been concerned about the erosion of due process in campus misconduct proceedings as well as the intersection between those proceedings and the criminal justice system.

News Release ~ 08/06/2020

Coalition Launches Virginia Redemption Initiative, Expanding NACDL’s Return to Freedom Project -- Washington, DC (Aug. 6, 2020) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), the ACLU of Virginia, Justice Forward Virginia, and the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), today announced the launch of the Virginia Redemption Project.

News Release ~ 07/28/2020

Senate COVID-19 Legislation Inadequate to Address Grave Crisis in Federal and State Prisons and Jails-- Washington, DC (July 28, 2020) –  Last night, Senate Republicans unveiled new coronavirus legislation that  fails to include the critical measures needed to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in federal and state correctional facilities. As the United States faces a rapidly escalating COVID-19 health crisis, the virus is spreading rapidly in prisons and jails, with grave consequences for incarcerated persons, staff, and surrounding communities.

News Release ~ 07/24/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Alarmed by ‘Rush to Resume Normal Court Operations’ During Escalating Pandemic -- Washington, DC (July 24, 2020) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) released a critically-important statement of principles and report in early June -- Criminal Court Reopening and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era

News Release ~ 07/23/2020

Leading Advocacy Groups Call for Bold and Dramatic Criminal Justice Reform During Special Legislative Session in Virginia -- Washington, DC (July 23, 2020) – Beginning August 18, 2020, the Virginia General Assembly will convene a special legislative session during which it is expected to address numerous proposals for meaningful criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth.

News Release ~ 07/15/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Re-emphasizes the Grave Risk of COVID-19 in Jails and Prisons, Calls for Immediate Action -- Washington, DC (July 15, 2020) -- It has now been over four months since the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) issued its first warning that the incarcerated people, staff, and communities inside and surrounding the nation’s prisons and jails were at mortal risk due to COVID-19 – we now know that NACDL’s initial warning was more than warranted.

News Release ~ 06/18/2020

It's Time to Replace Arrests with a Public Health Response to COVID-19 -- Washington, DC (June 18, 2020) -- On May 27, 2020, our organizations -- a multidisciplinary team of national law enforcement, public health and criminal legal organizations and experts, jointly issued “Proposed Public Health and Public Safety Pathways for Criminal Justice System Responses to COVID-19." 

News Release ~ 06/17/2020

NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project Disappointed in Small Number of Commutations in New York -- The NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project Calls on Governor Cuomo to Increase and Regularize Grants; ‘The Robust Exercise of Executive Clemency Power is Part of Meaningful Criminal Justice Reform’

News Release ~ 06/09/2020

The Vanishing Trial: FAMM, NACDL Launch Documentary about the Trial Penalty -- Vanita Gupta, Brittany Barnett, Clark Neily, and Norman Reimer to participate in panel discussion about the film.

News Release ~ 06/04/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar: Jury Trials Not Safe Until COVID-19 Pandemic Under Control -- NACDL Issues Statement of Principles and Report – “Criminal Court Reopening and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era”

News Release ~ 06/01/2020

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Seeking Release of Medically Vulnerable Individuals from Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, Calif. -- Washington, DC (June 1, 2020) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), joined by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC), and three individuals in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California, represented by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court late Friday.

News Release ~ 05/31/2020

NACDL President Nina J. Ginsberg Demands Law Enforcement Reforms to Address Systemic Injustice and Promote Healing

News Release ~ 05/27/2020

National Groups Issue Guidance for Incorporating Public Health Approaches into the Criminal Justice Response to COVID-19 and Beyond -- Washington, DC (May 27, 2020) – A group of national organizations, including the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Center for HIV Law & Policy, today released a set of principles for incorporating public health approaches into the criminal justice system’s current response to COVID-19, as well as longer term.

News Release ~ 05/11/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Decries Criminalization as Response to COVID-19, Warns of Disparate Impact -- Washington, DC (May 11, 2020) – On Saturday, May 9, 2020, NACDL’s Board of Directors unanimously adopted the “NACDL Supplemental Statement of Principles and Further Call to Action Concerning COVID-19 and America’s Criminal Justice System: Avoiding Criminalization in Confronting COVID-19,” provided in full below.

News Release ~ 04/27/2020

COVID-19 and California’s Carceral System: NACDL Sues California Governor and Attorney General in California Supreme Court -- NACDL Seeks Immediate and Significant Reduction of County Jail and Juvenile Facility Populations Across the State 

News Release ~ 04/06/2020

FAMM, Washington Lawyers’ Committee, NACDL Launch Emergency Compassionate Release Effort-- In a massive pro bono effort, our groups are recruiting, training, and supporting lawyers who agree to represent individuals in federal prisons eligible for compassionate release and those at special risk due to COVID-19.

News Release ~ 03/23/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Applauds Repeal of the Death Penalty in Colorado -- Washington, DC (March 23, 2020) – This afternoon, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law a bill repealing the death penalty in Colorado, making Colorado the 22nd state in the United States, in addition to the District of Columbia, to abolish or overturn the death penalty.

News Release ~ 03/04/2020

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Calls for Prompt Implementation of Comprehensive, Concrete, and Transparent COVID-19 Coronavirus Readiness Plans for Nation’s Prisons, Jails, and Other Detention Facilities -- Washington, DC (March 4, 2020) – The modern American way of criminal justice — mass incarceration on a scale exceeding both the absolute and per capita incarceration numbers of virtually every nation on earth — has set the stage for potentially catastrophic consequences in light of the emerging COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic affecting the globe.

News Release ~ 02/26/2020

Comprehensive NACDL Statement on President Trump’s Relentless Attacks on the Judiciary and the Judicial Process -- Washington, DC (Feb. 26, 2020) – U.S. President Donald Trump has engaged in a pattern of relentless, escalating, and unprecedented attacks on the judiciary, judicial independence, and the judicial process itself. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the nation’s criminal defense bar, and its members are duty-bound to the U.S. Constitution which established a separation of powers, with three co-equal branches of government...

News Release ~ 02/19/2020

California Innocence Project Director and Co-Founder Justin Brooks Receives NACDL Champion of Justice Award -- Washington, DC (Feb. 19, 2020) – On Friday, February 14, 2020, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) conferred its Champion of Justice Award to Justin Brooks, Director and Co-Founder of the California Innocence Project (CIP). NACDL President Nina J. Ginsberg presented Brooks with the award at an NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ) reception held that evening at the residence of Juanita Brooks & Michael Pancer in San Diego, Calif.