Washington, DC (January 17, 2014) — Today, President Obama made a long-awaited speech on surveillance reform proposals. Unfortunately, the President chose to defer to Congress on key components of the most significant known program in need of reform—the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata. Nothing the President said today indicated that the wholesale collection of this information is to be brought to an end.
In response to the President’s remarks, NACDL Executive Director Norman Reimer said: "The President has opted for smaller changes rather than a complete overhaul of the program. It is time for the President to start protecting the people’s rights. While it is a step in the right direction to recommend ending direct government collection of this metadata and to provide back-end protections on searching the information, the President should have supported ending the program altogether."
While the President did promise to extend greater privacy protections to non-US persons and require the NSA to seek approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) prior to querying the metadata, he failed to uphold the fundamental protection against unwarranted and unreasonable government intrusion—the Fourth Amendment. Privacy and security are not mutually exclusive. As his own task force reported late last year, the telephony metadata program under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act "is not essential to preventing attacks," and the information obtained pursuant to that program "could readily [be] obtained in a timely manner using conventional" individualized and particularized court orders. On balance, this program should be ended as it greatly infringes upon the privacy and First Amendment interests of Americans and offers very little security value.
As the nation now looks to Congress for much needed reform, NACDL supports the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, which would end the 215 program. NACDL urges Members of Congress to enact this badly needed legislation in an effort to curb further government overreach. Piecemeal reforms that only seek to place a Band-Aid on the problems while codifying the programs as they currently exist, like those proposed by leaders of the Intelligence Committees, will only further infringe fundamental constitutional rights.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
Ivan Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs and Communications (202) 465-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.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 legal system.