Make Lab a Center for Forensic Excellence
Washington, DC (May 12, 1997) -- Science should favor neither the prosecution nor the defense in its search for the truth, an attorney for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) will remind members of the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning. The panel is holding oversight hearings on serious deficiencies in the FBI Lab which came to light after last month's release of the Justice Department Inspector General's damning Report. Having focused on just 3 of 35 Lab units, the Report identified numerous instances of fabrication of test results, scientifically flawed and biased testimony, unqualified examiners with little or no formal education in their professed field of expertise, a predisposition toward slanting testimony in favor of the prosecution, and other rampant problems.
NACDL counsel Daniel S. Alcorn, Fensterwald & Alcorn, Vienna, Va., will urge Congress to continue and expand its oversight role, helping to reform the FBI Lab into a world-respected center for excellence in forensic science. For too long, the FBI lab has operated beyond the pale and beyond any meaningful external review or accountability, Alcorn said in a written statement provided to the committee. Numerous newspaper articles and editorials published since the release of the Justice Department's FBI Lab Report indicate public confidence in the lab is at an all-time low, and its once-stellar worldwide reputation is indelibly tattered.
Alcorn will appear on the first panel with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, the often-commended FBI scientist whose assertions about improprieties at the lab -- after repeatedly being ignored internally for over a decade -- gave rise to the Inspector General's investigation and were substantially corroborated by the final Report.
The oversight hearings will be held Tuesday, May 13, 1997 beginning at 9:00 a.m., Room 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. [Click Here] for written statement to be presented by Dan Alcorn.
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.