April 2020

April 2020 Cover

How can defense counsel fight back even when the prosecution has DNA evidence? How do lawyers advise clients regarding whether to testify?


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    What events are NACDL affiliates hosting this month? Find out here.

  2. Book Review: Lawyer X by Jake Banks

    This month Lisa B. Kauffman reviews Lawyer X: A True Story by Jake Banks.

  3. Book Review: The Meaning of Life by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis

    This month Cara Wieneke reviews The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis.

  4. Compassionate Release: NACDL and Partners Launch the COVID-19 Compassionate Release Clearinghouse

    Courts around the United States have increasingly recognized that the coronavirus is an extraordinary and compelling reason warranting release of inmates. Several courts have heeded the call from legal and medical experts to release vulnerable and old inmates from inherently unsafe facilities.

  5. DWI: Defending Asleep-at-the-Wheel Cases

    A lack of sleep produces many of the same effects associated with being drunk – including lack of coordination, judgment, and reaction time. Defense counsel should not allow a prosecutor, judge, or jury to dismiss consideration of sleep deprivation when it is relevant.

  6. Evolution of Criminal Conspiracy Law and ‘Flipping the Script’ in United States v. Elizabeth Holmes

    A conspiracy is often easier for the government to prove than the underlying substantive offenses. The upcoming wire fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the Theranos company, provides an example of the prosecution’s advantages in conspiracy law. How can the defense fight back?

  7. From the President: Take Heart and Go Forward

    Without bold action, jails and prisons could become the epicenters of the coronavirus.

  8. Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

    The “Getting Scholarship Into Court Project” brings helpful law review articles and other writings to the attention of criminal defense attorneys. The project’s purpose is to identify scholarship that will be especially useful to courts and practitioners. Summarized on this page are articles the project’s advisory board recommends that practicing lawyers take the time to read.

  9. Helping a Client Navigate the Complexities of Taking the Stand

    Many lawyers have represented clients who believe they want to go to trial and testify in their own defense. How do lawyers advise clients regarding this critical decision whether to testify? How should counsel integrate the client’s decision to testify (or not) throughout the remainder of the trial?

  10. Inside NACDL: Padilla’s 10th Anniversary

    The Supreme Court’s Limited Step Triggers Awareness and a National Movement to Combat Collateral Consequences

    The decision in Padilla v. Kentucky is 10 years old. Since the Supreme Court issued its opinion, there has been a recognition that the massive network of collateral consequences that flows from a criminal conviction must be dismantled.

  11. Letter to the Editor: Make the best of an unscheduled rest.

    Elmer Young’s letter to the editor reminds NACDL members to make the best use of their free time during courthouse closures stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

  12. Letter to the Editor: NACDL gift memberships help build a better defense bar.

    In her letter to the editor, Susan Walsh notes that one way to support NACDL and strengthen the defense bar is to purchase an NACDL membership for a law student.

  13. We the Jury: External Influences, Credible Allegations, and Juror Bias

    The Fourth Circuit in United States v. Johnson held that defendants were entitled to an evidentiary hearing pursuant to Remmer v. United States to determine if jurors remained impartial after a juror said defendants’ associates took cellphone photos of jurors during trial.

  14. Winning Despite DNA: The Truth You Must Reveal

    Defense attorneys should not become overwhelmed by DNA evidence and believe they have no way to challenge the allegations. Counsel can demonstrate to jurors that other plausible explanations exist.