News Release

New Jersey’s and Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Call on Gov. Murphy to Sign S3456, Repealing Mandatory Minimums for Certain Offenses

Washington, DC (March 11, 2021) – National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Christopher W. Adams and the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ) President Linda D. Foster released the following statement on NJ bill (S3456) to repeal mandatory minimums for certain crimes, which is currently awaiting Governor Murphy’s signature.
 
Christopher W. Adams, President, NACDL & Linda D. Foster, President, ACDL-NJ:

“With this legislation, New Jersey has an opportunity to take historic action to restore some balance to the criminal legal system and provide a modicum of justice for thousands of incarcerated individuals, vastly people of color, who have served disproportionate prison terms. For decades, New Jersey prosecutors have used the threat of mandatory minimum sentences to coerce accused persons into guilty pleas and forego their constitutional right to trial. The overreliance on manipulative plea bargains — coupled with the trial penalty for those who are heard by a jury and categorically receive greater sentences than what prosecutors may have originally offered — has contributed to mass incarceration and prison overcrowding in New Jersey, which has had severe consequences for inmates and their families especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge Governor Murphy to sign this legislation into law and continue demonstrating national leadership on the critical work to reform our criminal legal system."

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Contacts

Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org

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 justice system.

The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey was established in 1985 and has since become the primary organized voice for the criminal defense bar in New Jersey. It consists of more than 500 members across the state, assisting each other to become effective advocates on behalf of criminal defendants. It serves its members and clients through continuing legal education, amicus briefs, events and by otherwise promoting fair and equal justice for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system.

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