Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2016) — The Supreme Court yesterday referred controversial proposed changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to Congress, and without further Congressional action those changes will come into effect December 1st of this year. NACDL submitted comments in opposition to these far reaching changes, arguing that the significant impact on constitutional rights requires a much more transparent and robust process than federal rule-making.
The proposal would give the government broad authority to remotely hack into the computers of hundreds or even thousands of innocent people with just one warrant. Such sweeping changes cannot be considered merely procedural and require significant Congressional oversight to ensure that fundamental constitutional rights are protected.
"By shepherding these changes through the rules process, the Department of Justice seems to be making an end run around the legislative process to achieve invasive new powers that would render Fourth Amendment protections meaningless in the digital age," said NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris.
Congress should take action to prevent these rule changes from being adopted and ensure that any such changes to the government's ability to access and search digital devices are made only after a thorough and public legislative process.
For a more detailed presentation of NACDL's position concerning the proposed changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, please see NACDL's letter to the Advisory Committee, prepared on NACDL's behalf by Peter Goldberger and William J. Genego, co-chairs of NACDL's Committee on Rules of Procedure, and Samuel A. Guiberson, vice chair of NACDL's Fourth Amendment Advocacy Committee. A link to that letter is available 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.
Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.