Washington, DC (February 19, 2015) – On Wednesday, a military appeals court overruled the conviction of David Hicks, the first person to be convicted of a war crime by a military commission at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In 2007, Mr. Hicks, an Australian, pleaded guilty to a single charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization. Mr. Hicks's conviction was overturned because the offense he was charged with was not considered a war crime at the time.
NACDL President Theodore Simon said: "The proceedings at Guantánamo lay bare the issues that come with trying to build a legal system as cases proceed. The decision to overturn Mr. Hicks's conviction is yet more evidence of the illegitimacy of the military commissions. NACDL has for years argued that the military commissions do not meet minimum due process protections and this latest decision reinforces that view. The military commissions stand in clear opposition to America's ideals of justice and the rule of law and should be halted immediately."
NACDL National Security Committee Chair Joshua L. Dratel, who represented Mr. Hicks at the trial level and on his habeas in federal court, said: "The result is deserved and long overdue. For more than a decade, the illegitimacy of the Guantánamo Bay military commissions has been transparent, and the reversal of David’s conviction provides more and abundant proof of that. It is unfortunate, of course, that this result comes after a decade-long struggle on his part, and cannot undo the physical and psychological suffering he endured as a result of his wrongful detention. The result is gratifying, although it is not a surprise. Rather, it serves simply as another glaring example of the procedural and substantive deficiencies that have infected the Guantánamo Bay military commissions from their inception, which continue to contaminate them, and which have served as a powerful propaganda tool for the U.S.’s enemies, as well as a license for official lawlessness by other governments and organizations throughout the world in the context of mistreatment of detainees."
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.
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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.