Washington, DC (March 7, 2001) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today announced its support for the Innocence Protection Act, which is expected to be reintroduced in Congress this afternoon. NACDL President Edward Mallett issued the following statement:
"DNA-based exonerations are just the tip of the unjust-conviction iceberg. The Innocence Protection Act goes beyond these glaring injustices to address the root of the problem.
"The American people have been amazed in the last two years that there are literally hundreds, even thousands, of innocent citizens in prison, many on death row. The Innocence Protection Act is constructive because it will permit the innocent to have DNA testing and defendants in death penalty cases to be better-defended.
"For every innocent inmate fortunate enough to have genetic material available for DNA testing, hundreds more are wrongly convicted in cases where there is no body-tissue evidence. Many are in prison because their counsel were not given the resources necessary to provide a thorough defense--to challenge eyewitness identification based on suggestive interviews, to expose sloppy or biased police investigation, or to track down exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution.
"The Act requires states to adopt fair procedures for post-conviction DNA testing, and that is important to a number of unjustly convicted people. But even more important are the provisions requiring adequate counsel in death penalty cases. When the deck is stacked against a defendant, a jury can often be convinced to make a mistake.
"Citizens are alarmed that our justice system is more fallible than we thought. Congress and the Bush Administration now have an opportunity to deal with this mounting crisis of public confidence."
Mallett is a criminal defense lawyer in Houston. He can be reached at (713) 228-1521 or (713) 444-8146 (cell).
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.