Renewed War on Drugs, harsher charging policies, stepped-up criminalization of immigrants — in the current climate, joining the NACDL is more important than ever. Members of NACDL help to support the only national organization working at all levels of government to ensure that the voice of the defense bar is heard.
Take a stand for a fair, rational, and humane criminal legal system
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NACDL is committed to enhancing the capacity of the criminal defense bar to safeguard fundamental constitutional rights.
NACDL harnesses the unique perspectives of NACDL members to advocate for policy and practice improvements in the criminal legal system.
NACDL envisions a society where all individuals receive fair, rational, and humane treatment within the criminal legal system.
NACDL’s mission is to serve as a leader, alongside diverse coalitions, in identifying and reforming flaws and inequities in the criminal legal system, and redressing systemic racism, and ensuring that its members and others in the criminal defense bar are fully equipped to serve all accused persons at the highest level.
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Enlightened advocacy is the unifying thread of what the Foundation for Criminal Justice does. It includes advocacy for the individual and advocacy for reform.
The United States is incarcerating people at a rate unmatched by any other country, and no decent society would imprison people merely because they are destitute, mentally ill, or addicted.
Why are we defenders? We are defenders because we believe that whether a person is rich, poor or middle class, that person deserves a fair chance in court.
The criminal defense bar is an integral part of the criminal justice system. If the criminal defense bar is ineffective or cannot do its job because of unreasonable laws, then the criminal justice system simply does not work.
Darryk A Burton
Editor’s Note: Darryl A. Burton was a presenter on August 12, 2010, in
Toronto at NACDL’s Annual Meeting. He served 24 years in a Missouri
prison for a crime he did not commit. Read more about him at
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