Washington, DC (May 25, 2011) -- Last week, both the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) held meetings in Washington, D.C. The first event, on May 18, was a special screening and panel discussing the film The Dhamma Brothers at the Open Society Foundation Washington Office, an event co-hosted by NACDL and the Open Society Foundation. The Dhamma Brothers tells the story of inmates at the Donaldson Correctional Facility who enter an intensive, ten-day meditation program. In addition to the producer/director of the documentary and some of the men featured in the film, the panel also included the Director of Treatment of the Alabama Department of Corrections, a Vipassana meditation instructor, and a representative of the Vipassana Prison Trust.
On May 19, the FCJ held a reception at the Decatur House on Lafayette Square. Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Darrell J. Vandeveld USAR resigned his post as a Guantanamo prosecutor over what he termed ethical lapses and systemic failures that rendered the Commissions unable to achieve justice. Looking back on his experiences as a prosecutor, Vandeveld told the audience, “I’ve learned lessons that I hope will guide my life from now on, and they’ve obviously guided yours.” Vandeveld, an NACDL member, is now the Chief Public Defender for Erie County, Pa.
At the FCJ event, NACDL President Jim E. Lavine presented Guardian of Liberty Awards to The Office of the Federal Defenders of the District of Columbia and to The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. As explained by Lavine, “through the efforts of the Federal Public Defenders in D.C., under the extraordinary leadership of A. J. Kramer, the office has secured counsel for approximately 80 detainees at Guantanamo,” an endeavor that Lavine said “will go down in the history of America’s criminal defense bar as one of the finest, and most selfless achievements.” The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, currently under the direction of Avis Buchanan, was recognized for its 50 years as “the gold standard by which all other indigent defender programs have been measured,” Lavine explained.
In addition, nearly three dozen law firms, defender offices, and individuals were presented with Certificates of Honor at the FCJ event recognizing their significant contributions preparing and submitting NACDL amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal and state appellate courts.
At a breakfast held before the NACDL Spring Board Meeting on May 20, NACDL presented Mark V. Holden, general counsel of Koch Industries, with its Defender of Justice Leadership Award in recognition of his and Koch Industries’ “vision and courage” reflected in their ongoing support for NACDL’s mission. Upon receiving the award, Holden explained to NACDL’s Board of Directors that his and Koch’s unconditional support for NACDL is “because your role was provided for in the Bill of Rights…. [and] our founding fathers believed you all were and are essential and necessary for the proper administration of a free society and to ensure and protect the freedom and rights of individuals.”
“We support what you in this room do every day to ensure individual liberty and freedom,” he added.
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.
Jack King, Public Affairs, (202) 872-8600 x228, email@example.com
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.