Washington, DC (June 1, 2015) – Last night, the U.S. Senate allowed the bulk phone data collection, ‘roving wiretap,’ and ‘lone wolf’ provisions of the USA Patriot Act to sunset, though their expiration has been reported to be only temporary as the Senate scrambles to work out some sort of compromise on these surveillance issues. As explained in detail in a May 15, 2015 article by Theodore Simon, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), NACDL finds one such possible compromise position – the USA Freedom Act as passed by the House on that date – to fall ‘far short’ of the necessary reforms in this arena.
"The Patriot Act surveillance provisions that sunset last night should be relegated to history and Congress should move on to broader surveillance reform to ensure that any intelligence collection, regardless of which program or agency it is under, is narrowly tailored to meet the government's objective and complies with the constitution," said NACDL President Theodore Simon. "Allowing those provisions to sunset is a good start, but it is not nearly enough. Reforms should also ensure that the accused in criminal cases always have notice of the source of evidence introduced against them as well as access to potentially exculpatory evidence in the vast databases of information gathered through these surveillance programs. There is no Constitutionally sound place for the recently revealed practice of 'parallel construction' – which is the deliberate and deceptive recreation of the source of evidence -- in this country."
Among other provisions, the USA Freedom Act, as adopted by the House, extends through 2019 the Patriot Act's extraordinary "roving wiretaps" and "lone wolf" surveillance programs, which NACDL opposes. At the same time, it also increases the maximum sentence to 20 years for violating the vague "material support" statute, a law so broad that it can ensnare even those who for humanitarian reasons interact with a U.S. government-designated terror group for the purposes of aiding civilians within that group's territorial control or criminalize pure speech.
"As Congress continues this debate, it should take the opportunity to strengthen the reforms in the current USA Freedom Act and to reject any amendments or other legislation that would move us in the other direction," Simon explained.
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 email@example.com 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.