Washington, DC (April 5, 2012) – The Pentagon yesterday formally referred charges against five Guantanamo detainees accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. A retired admiral in charge of the military commissions recommended that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants face the death penalty if convicted by a military commission. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers reiterates its position that these prosecutions be returned to federal court for proper trials.
The military commission system falls far short of bedrock American principles of fairness and due process. Evidence presented in any death penalty proceeding must be of the highest reliability. The present commission system still permits the government to introduce hearsay and derivative evidence obtained through the coercive and extreme interrogation methods of years past.
Just last month, the Attorney General restated his long held belief that the federal court system has proven to be an unparalleled instrument for trying terrorism cases. Federal courts have handled hundreds of terrorism cases—compared to only 7 cases handled by the military commission since 2001—without security breaches, and federal prosecutors have the tools for prosecuting persons believed to be terrorists, including over 40 specific terrorism statutes and nearly 100 other federal criminal laws.
“Politics has no place in death penalty proceedings,” said NACDL President Lisa M. Wayne. “Despite cosmetic changes over the years, the commission rules still permit the government to introduce secret evidence, hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion. NACDL maintains that the rules and procedures for these commission trials raise serious questions about the government’s commitment to constitutional principles upon which our country was founded. That the government would pull these prosecutions from the federal courts and seek the death penalty for these defendants in a system that was designed to convict is deeply troubling.”
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.
Jack King, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7628 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.