Champion Magazine Explores ‘Gideon at 36 Years’
Washington, DC (March 31, 1999) -- “Any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him.” Since the Supreme Court of the United States wrote those words 36 years ago in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the courts and the bar have struggled to fulfill the promise of justice for all. But as Congress found a generation ago when it held hearings on the Criminal Justice Act, unpaid counsel were not always as diligent or prepared as retained counsel. As the Court later ruled, simply appointing a warm body to represent an indigent defendant does not fulfill Gideon’s mandate; the right to counsel is the right to effective assistance of counsel.
Recognizing that more than 36 years after the Gideon decision the playing field is still steeply sloped in favor of the prosecution, The Champion, the monthly magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), devotes its April issue to a national crisis of concern to judges, legislators, prosecutors and defense lawyers alike: the problem of delivery of legal services to the poor. Selected articles from the April issue are available for reading or downloading, among them:
- “Six Building Blocks for Indigent Defense” by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. On February 25, 1999, Ms. Reno addressed the first National Symposium on Indigent Defense at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington, D.C. Her remarks at that historic meeting of representatives from every part and every level of America’s criminal justice system appear in print for the first time.
- “Unanimous Resolution” by Terence F. MacCarthy, Executive Director of the Federal Defender Program, in Chicago. Mr. MacCarthy presents the American Bar Association’s Report and Resolution, calling on Congress to fully fund federal defender services through the Criminal Justice Act, to the defense lawyers and prosecutors of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, which approved the motion without a single negative vote.
Click here for the April 1999 NACDL Indigent Defense Resolutions
“We live in a time of unparalleled economic growth and prosperity, yet -- as is too often the case -- the poor and disenfranchised are not being served,” says NACDL President Larry Pozner, of Denver. The authors of the articles in April’s issue of The Champion present their cases for full funding of the federal Criminal Justice Act in every federal district. While there are many dedicated lawyers across the country who will accept an occasional federal criminal appointment, compensation for these attorneys falls below even the cost of their office overhead. More than 90 percent of criminal defendants in federal courts cannot afford to hire a lawyer. The Chief Justice of the United States, the Attorney General, and bar organizations from the ABA to the NACDL to the National Association of Former United States Attorneys and the Federal Judges Association are all urging Congress to fully fund the Criminal Justice Act in order to fulfill the mandate of Gideon.
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.