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- Champion Article
From the President: Judicial Elections: Threats to the Independence Of the Judiciary
at the Local and State Levels
Last August, when I was installed as NACDL’s 52nd president, it was clear that the landscape in which we practice as criminal defense lawyers had changed dramatically over the course of NACDL’s half century.
Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of the petitioner.
Argument: Justice Brent Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia refused to recuse himself from the appeal of the $50 million jury verdict in this case, even though the CEO of the lead defendant spent $3 million supporting his campaign for a seat on the court--more than 60 percent of the total amount spent to support Justice Benjamin's campaign-- while preparing to appeal the verdict against his company. After winning election to the court, Justice Benjamin cast the deciding vote in the court's 3-2 decision overturning that verdict.