Learn the benefits of hiring a forensically trained mental health expert in Miller cases.
Articles in this Issue
8 Principles for Effective Closing Arguments
The closing argument can be critical if the stage has been set by developing the most powerful themes from voir dire, opening statement, and cross-examination. Defense attorneys must motivate jurors to discharge their duties with open minds, urging them to adopt the role of detectives and investigators so that they are willing to question the quality of the prosecution’s proof.
Affiliate News November-December 2014
Book Review: Anne Levy's Last Case
To say Anne Levy’s Last Case is a novel about a public defender is like saying Moby Dick is a novel about a whale. Barbara Sattler is not Herman Melville, but she is a fine writer whose novel has multiple, interconnected themes with memorable, realistic characters. Those themes include the universal traits of loyalty, friendship, perseverance, and empathy. However, the readers who will most clearly enjoy this novel are those who have spent time as criminal defense lawyers or, in particular, as public defenders.
From the President: Francois Holloway’s Second Chance
State legislatures and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., should consider passing statutes giving the right to defendants who have served 10 years to request a reconsideration of their sentences in light of their performance in prison and their achievements after being sentenced.
Getting Scholarship Into Court Project
Editor’s Note: 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.
Inside NACDL: Perspectives on NACDL in 2014: Six Major Initiatives
to Transform Criminal Justice in America
In 2014, NACDL released several groundbreaking reports, hosted informative webinars, and offered resource support for members who need guidance on vexing issues that arise in daily practice.
NACDL News: Clemency Project 2014TM Underway And Reviewing Thousands Of Federal Prisoner Application
More than 25,000 prisoners have submitted applications to Clemency Project 2014TM as the first step in their effort to participate in the Justice Department’s new clemency initiative. Over 1,500 attorneys have answered the call to assist the Project by taking on cases pro bono.
NACDL News: Defending Public Corruption Cases
Attorneys gathered in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 5-6 for NACDL’s 10th annual white collar seminar.
NACDL News: Groundbreaking Study Documents How Courts Are Impeding Fair Disclosure In Criminal Cases
On Nov. 17, 2014, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., NACDL released its latest report, Material Indifference: How Courts Are Impeding Fair Disclosure in Criminal Cases, a major study produced jointly with the VERITAS Initiative at Santa Clara Law School.
NACDL News: Jumana Musa Appointed Senior Privacy and National Security Counsel for Nation’s Criminal
In early November, NACDL announced the appointment of Jumana Musa as Senior Privacy and National Security Counsel. She will assume responsibility for NACDL’s important work both to protect Fourth Amendment rights and to limit government overreach under the rubric of national security. Ms. Musa has devoted the past 11 years to working on issues related to human rights, national security, policing, and racial profiling.
NACDL News: SCOTUS Hears Yates Case; Examines Use of Post-Enron Law in Prosecution of Fisherman
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on Nov. 5, 2014, in Yates v. United States (13-7451), a case highlighting the dangerous consequences stemming from the unconstitutional executive expansion of the federal law. In Yates, the government used a post-Enron anti-shredding statute to prosecute a fisherman for the disappearance of three fish from his shipping vessel.
Police in My Pocket: The Need for Fourth Amendment Protection for Cellular Telephone Tracking
The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule whether nonphysical surveillance, such as cellular GPS tracking, constitutes a search. Although the Court in Riley v. California required police to obtain a warrant to search a cellphone incident to arrest, it did not address the requirements for tracking. No definitive legal standard for gathering cellular location data exists. Adding to the judicial divide is the lack of relevant statutes. Will the courts or Congress step in to address the legislative void?
If the courtroom is a stage, then attorneys must make every moment count during their time in the spotlight. Attorney Mary DeFusco says evidence is everything the jury sees, hears, reasons, and feels. It is up to defense attorneys to make sure that as much of that information as possible is favorable to the defendant. She offers helpful tips to new lawyers so that they can use the stage to its full advantage.
Retaining a Forensic Mental Health Expert In Miller Cases
In Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to automatically sentence individuals to life without the possibility of parole for a crime committed before their 18th birthday. A defense attorney has numerous strategic decisions to make when a defendant will be resentenced pursuant to Miller, such as whether to retain a mental health expert. Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh explains the benefits of a forensically trained mental health expert, and she offers pointers to help prepare the clinician, defendant, and defendant’s family for the clinician’s evaluation.