Washington, DC (April 26, 1995) -- Gerald H. Goldstein, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), today warned members of Congress against using the tragic Oklahoma City bombing as an excuse for stampeding to enact "anti-terrorism" legislation that tramples basic American principles of due process and limited government power.
"The bills Congress is considering [S.390 and H.R.896; the "Omnibus Counterterrorism Act"] are not necessary. If these proposals become law, they will steal from each and every one of us the very constitutional liberties that separate us from those countries whose values we deplore," Goldstein said. "My heart goes out to all of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. We are all deeply concerned about terrorism and its dreadful consequences, but do we really want the loss of our precious freedoms to be yet another consequence -- particularly while we're still in shock from this event?" he asked.
S.390, which the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider in a hearing tomorrow, would make it a criminal offense to provide financial support for the lawful activities of any group designated a "terrorist organization" by the President. Such designations would be conclusive and unreviewable by any court. The President could designate any alien residing legally in the U.S. as a "representative" of a "terrorist organization" and could deport that person based on secret -- even illegally obtained -- evidence that the government would not have to disclose, at proceedings at which neither that individual nor his or her attorney could be present.
"These are blatant denials of the constitutional rights of free association and speech, the right to confront the evidence against one, the right to be free from illegal searches, and the right to fundamental fairness," Goldstein pointed out. "Powers like these belong in a militarized society. The closest parallel is the shameful internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Some would use this tragedy to justify all manner of distortions of our constitutional system and society. We should proceed carefully and resist urges to adopt such sweeping laws that change the basic equation between government and citizen," Goldstein warned.
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.