Washington, DC (February 5, 2013) – Overnight, NBC News exclusively released a confidential Department of Justice document that purports to justify the extrajudicial execution of U.S. citizens by an Executive Branch acting as prosecutor, judge and jury and with no charges, hearing or opportunity to be heard for the accused. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is deeply disturbed by the contortion of the legal principles of warfare and self-defense reflected in this “White Paper.”
“While the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process may not provide a citizen with absolute ‘constitutional immunity’ from an extrajudicial killing by the United States Government, it does act as a shield--one that is not put down simply because a citizen is outside the physical boundaries of our country,” NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said. “Regardless of what the laws of war may or may not provide, our government can and should be working to ensure the protection of U.S. citizens, and not to enshrine tortured justifications for their execution. The very idea that the Obama administration has undertaken this effort to legitimize what amounts to extrajudicial capital punishment takes us right through the looking glass to a legal terrain fundamentally at odds with core American constitutional principles.”
NACDL reiterates its call for the administration to release the actual Office of Legal Counsel legal opinion which sets out the framework for when the Government believes it may legally kill a U.S. citizen who is away from a hot battlefield. This white paper--which "does not attempt to determine minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful"--is patently insufficient to provide citizens with adequate notice of what actions may get them killed at the hands of the U.S. Government.
To this end, in the fall of 2011, NACDL filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of the actual legal memorandum. To date, the Department of Justice has refused to disclose this memorandum to the American people.
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 J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & 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.