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Washington, DC (February 10, 2011) – Today, a diverse coalition of the nation’s leading criminal justice reform organizations released Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the Administration and Congress among the most comprehensive reports ever published to address the problems confronting America’s criminal justice system.
In its review of virtually every major criminal justice issue—from overcriminalization to forensic science—from juvenile justice to the death penalty—and from indigent defense to executive clemency— the report serves as both a source of information and a spur to action for the Administration and Congress.
Just two days before the release of the Smart on Crime report, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) reintroduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act which would “create a blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission of experts charged with undertaking an 18-month top-to-bottom review” of the nation’s criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform. The establishment of such a commission is among the major recommendations of the report.
Virginia Sloan, President of The Constitution Project, said about Smart on Crime, “The criminal justice system is supposed to be about justice—for victims, for those rightly and wrongly accused and convicted of crimes, and for all of us. But a system that costs too much and makes so many mistakes provides justice for no one. Smart on Crime contains an ever-increasing and bipartisan consensus on how to fix the problems that have for too long plagued the system.”
In addition to its recommendation that a National Criminal Justice Commission be formed, the report—developed and published by the Smart on Crime Coalition, a group of more than 40 bipartisan organizations and individuals—offers nearly 100 detailed policy recommendations across 16 criminal justice areas. While contributors do not necessarily have positions on each issue addressed, there was universal agreement that the current system—with its rampant cost, inefficiency, and injustices—is in urgent need of reform.
“Overcriminalization of federal law threatens every American’s liberty and drains the public coffers with pointless prosecutions and unnecessary incarcerations,” said Norman Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “We urge every elected official to end the madness that has produced over 4,450 federal criminal statutes, and countless tens of thousands more arising from the unchecked power of regulatory authorities.”
A Smart on Crime Web site was also created to provide policy-makers, media and the public with quick and easy access to the report. In addition, visitors to besmartoncrime.org can hear report contributors share their insights on criminal justice system problems and solutions in videotaped interviews.
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.
Paul Cates- Innocence Project; firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Conyers- Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; email@example.com
Dallas Jamison- The Constitution Project; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack King- National Assoc. of Criminal Defense Lawyers; email@example.com and Ivan Dominguez; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanine Plant-Chirlin- Brennan Center for Justice; email@example.com
Monica Pratt- Families Against Mandatory Minimums; 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.