Washington, DC (April 23, 2013) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) today submitted a statement in support of SB 19, legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Delaware. On Wednesday, April 24, the Judiciary Committee of Delaware’s House of Representatives will hold a hearing on SB 19. Delaware’s Senate narrowly passed repeal legislation in late March.
As NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said in his statement on behalf of the Association: “Countless studies have shown [the death penalty] to be arbitrary, discriminatory, costly, and fraught with error. Because we believe that no amount of tinkering will save the death penalty from its inherent flaws, NACDL supports abolition.” Benjamin added: “Since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, 142 individuals sentenced to death have been exonerated after serving years on death row. Many others have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment because of serious doubts about their guilt. Tragically, some have been executed despite serious questions concerning their innocence.”
Should Delaware vote in favor of repealing the death penalty, it would represent significant progress for a state that only ten years ago became the last in the union to officially dismantle its gallows. Enacting SB 19 would put Delaware in the company of a growing number of states that have abolished the death penalty in recent years. At the present, 17 states have outlawed the death penalty. Maryland is set to become the 18th when Governor O’Malley signs a bill passed by the legislature earlier this year.
NACDL is pleased that Delaware appears poised to join that group and abolish the death penalty. NACDL strongly opposes the death penalty and will continue to work tirelessly until capital punishment is a thing of the past throughout the nation.
A copy of the complete statement submitted today by NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin is linked 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.
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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.