Washington, DC (March 20, 2013) – Today, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013. If enacted, this legislation would restore essential judicial discretion to permit a sentence below harsh and inflexible statutory minimums based upon the court’s assessment of the particular facts and circumstances of the case and the offender. The expanded safety valve would apply to all federal offenders facing mandatory minimum sentences for any crime. Its purpose would be to prevent the kind of unjust and irrational criminal punishments the nation has witnessed under the ever-expanding mandatory minimum sentencing regime of the last few decades.
NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said: “This measure will restore rational punishment to federal sentencing. It is long overdue. The United States leads the world in imprisonment largely because mandatory minimum sentencing requires judges to impose unjust sentences. While federal prisoners only account for about 10% of the staggering 2.2 million people incarcerated in this country, this measure would go a long way toward restoring the proper sentencing role of the judiciary to America’s criminal justice system. I am pleased that the efforts of NACDL and numerous allied organizations helped pave the way for the introduction of this legislation.”
If adopted, judges will be empowered to depart from federal mandatory minimum sentences where those sentences do not comport with the goals of punishment, as set forth in the law – including public safety, rehabilitation, deterrence, and fairness. Of the currently more than 170 federal mandatory minimum sentences, a narrow safety valve exists only for drug offenses. With some 26% of the Department of Justice 2013 budget request (according to the DOJ’s Inspector General) being consumed by the escalating federal prison budget, which includes an estimated annual cost of about $28,000 for each prisoner housed in the BOP’s overcrowded facilities, this legislation makes good fiscal sense as well.
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!
Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or email@example.com.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.