Washington, DC (February 26, 2008) – Representatives of a coalition of citizens, community activists and criminal justice organizations are in Washington to participate in “Crack the Disparity” Lobby Day, which is being held in conjunction with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security’s cocaine sentencing hearing today. The “Hearing on Cracked Justice – Addressing the Unfairness of Cocaine Sentencing” is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn Building Room 2237. In conjunction with that hearing, members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) from around the country are flying in to lobby their representatives and senators in favor of pending legislation which would reduce federal penalties for possession of cocaine base (“crack”) and bring them more into line with the penalties for powder cocaine. NACDL is the nation’s only bar association devoted exclusively to criminal defense, the fair administration of justice and due process in state and federal courts.
CRACK THE DISPARITY PRESS CONFERENCE:
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B318
HEARING, SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM, HOMELAND SECURITY:
WHEN: 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237
“The current penalty scheme is unjust, and legislative correction of the sentencing disparities is long overdue,” said NACDL President Carmen Hernandez. The present ratio treats possession of even a very small quantity of crack approximately 100 times more severely than the powder form of the drug.
“Nowhere is this more apparent than in the fact that 83 percent of inmates serving time in the federal system for crack cocaine are minorities, and their sentences are more than 50 percent longer than inmates serving time for cocaine powder,” Hernandez said. “This is true even though crack defendants tend to be low-level street dealers. In fact, the average sentence for possession of crack cocaine is far longer than the average sentences for violent crimes such as robbery and sexual abuse.”
For more information on Crack the Disparity Lobby Day, go to www.crackthedisparity.com.
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.
NACDL Communications Department
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.