Washington, DC (April 4, 2011) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) agrees with Attorney General Eric Holder’s assessment that the federal courts have proven to be an unparalleled instrument for trying terrorism cases. The federal courts have handled numerous terrorism cases with just, reliable results without security breaches and federal prosecutors have the tools for prosecuting persons believed to be terrorists, including over 40 specific terrorism statutes and nearly 100 other federal laws.
But when the attorney general spoke of “bring[ing] the conspirators to justice,” he was ignoring the constitutional and common law mandate that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. That principle is the bedrock upon which our system of justice is founded.
The military commission system is not about seeking justice as much as it is about obtaining convictions. At Guantanamo, the detainees are presumed guilty by virtue of their detention, and are hamstrung in defending themselves.
“Despite some cosmetic changes since the Bush-era commissions, the commission rules still permit the government to introduce secret evidence, hearsay and statements obtained through coercion,” said the association’s Executive Director, Norman Reimer. “NACDL maintains that the rules and procedures for these commission trials raise serious questions about the government’s commitment to constitutional principles upon which our country was founded. Therefore a vigorous and properly resourced defense is essential.”
If the Department of Defense decides to seek the death penalty for any detainee, NACDL calls upon the Convening Authority to ensure that adequate funding and resources are provided to defense counsel to ensure that the commission proceedings comport with the American Bar Association’s Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases and the capital defense provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In the long term, the best weapon in the war on terror is adherence to the Bill of Rights. True Americans accept no less.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
NACDL Communications Department
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.