Washington, DC (Oct. 1, 2015) – This morning, in action unprecedented in recent decades, a broadly bipartisan group of U.S. Senators announced the introduction of the "Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act," a bill that appears to include certain provisions aimed at reversing America's overly harsh, overburdened and ineffective criminal justice system. That said, while the legislation eliminates certain mandatory minimum sentences in the federal criminal law, it unfortunately imposes and increases others.
In a nation in which more than 70 million people have some form of a criminal record, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has been a leader in the effort address the debilitating scourge of the collateral consequences of arrest or conviction. And so NACDL welcomes those provisions that are aimed at ensuring that persons are not permanently disadvantaged by incomplete and inaccurate criminal records or youthful mistakes. In addition, the bill would limit the unacceptable practice of solitary confinement for juveniles in federal custody.
"It would appear that a number of the provisions in this bill represent an important move in the right direction," said NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris. "The sentencing provisions that apply retroactively will have an immediate impact on persons serving unduly long sentences and their families, though we regret that the bill does not eliminate or significantly reduce all mandatory minimums for more offenses. NACDL's long-standing and well-supported position is that mandatory minimums are bad policy for all crimes. We look forward to carefully studying all of the provisions of this newly-introduced legislation."
NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer added that "NACDL commends the negotiators and their staff for their dedication and commitment to the difficult process of compromise. With draconian sentencing laws and some 5,000 crimes in the federal criminal code and up to 300,000 in the federal regulations, even a modest beginning to the reversal of the overcriminalization and overincarceration of America is a most welcome development. It is my every hope that the steps taken today inspire further reform, not just on the federal level, but in state legislatures across the nation."
A link to a section by section summary of the proposed Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act released by the co-sponsors and a video of the press conference announcing its introduction are available on the Senate Judiciary Committee's website here.
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, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or email@example.com for more information.
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.