Washington, DC (April 22, 2013) – In cases of alleged domestic terrorism, as with other state and federal crimes, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) supports the use of America’s civilian criminal justice system. NACDL also opposes any expansion whatsoever of the “public safety exception” to Miranda v. Arizona. Indeed, NACDL has long resisted legislative and other efforts to restrict individuals’ constitutional rights, including the right to receive the warnings required by Miranda v. Arizona.
Miranda is the landmark Supreme Court case requiring law enforcement officials to read criminal suspects in custody their rights, including their right to an attorney, before questioning them. Furthermore, Miranda itself is an evidentiary rule that determines whether statements may be used in evidence. The Miranda rule does not prevent the government from questioning anyone, including a suspect, for informational purposes as long as any statements provided are not used as evidence against them. A narrow “public safety exception” permits law enforcement to temporarily interrogate suspects without providing them their constitutionally-mandated Miranda warning in emergency situations.
NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said: “The ‘public safety exception’ is precisely that – an emergency exception. It cannot become the rule for any category of alleged criminal conduct without undermining the Constitution. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a U.S. citizen arrested on U.S. soil, has been in custody for nearly three days and the government will have a heavy burden to show that any further questioning without a reading of his Miranda rights is justified. In addition, the suggestion that Tsarnaev be treated as an enemy combatant or diverted out of the civilian criminal justice system would amount to a radical suspension of due process and NACDL opposes it. All crime is by definition an attack on civil society and the civilian population. Distinctions in degree, breadth, or inhumanity do not distinguish these crimes from the conduct that our criminal justice system is designed to prevent and punish. The crimes committed at the Boston Marathon took place on Patriots’ Day, a holiday marking the first battles of the American Revolution. It would certainly add to this tragedy if the events of last week lead the government to abandon the core protections the founders fought so hard to secure.”
According to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday, “the immediate threat, I think all of law enforcement feels, is over, based on the information we have.”
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.