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.
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.
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Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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.