Washington, DC (March 19, 2013) – Today, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013. This bill is virtually identical to the bill that was overwhelmingly passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in November. Last year, over 30 former prosecutors and judges joined together in support of Senator Leahy’s efforts to require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before they may access the content of electronic communications, a requirement supported by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In support of Senator Leahy’s previous effort, the former law enforcement officials issued a letter arguing that there is “no difference” between communications mailed through the postal service, “or communications that are stored in a desk drawer, and electronic communications sent via a third-party service provider.”
The officials further provide that: “Requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant from a court does not prevent law enforcement from doing its job. In fact, it would place law enforcement officers on more solid ground when they access private electronic communications, and make it more likely that important evidence of crime is not thrown out in criminal cases. Law enforcement agencies have cited various concerns in the past about what this amendment would do to their ability to act quickly in emergency situations or to protect children from exploitation or abuse. Their fears are unfounded as Senator Leahy’s bill does not amend exceptions found in current law regarding emergencies involving danger of death or serious injury. Likewise, Senator Leahy’s amendment does not amend current law that requires a third-party provider to hand over to the government any information involving evidence of child pornography, child abuse, and/or child exploitation. These current exceptions will be maintained and unaffected by the Leahy amendment.”
The letter in support of a warrant for content requirement can be found here.
A helpful report on law enforcement access to third-party records, including email communications, can be found here.
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.