Washington, DC (June 12, 2006) – Nancy Hollander, a Guantanamo defense lawyer, today released the following statement in light of last weekend’s tragic suicides of Guantanamo prisoners Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi and Yassar Talal Al-Zahrani of Saudi Arabia, and Ali Abdullah Ahmed of Yemen:
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has been actively involved in recruiting pro bono habeas corpus lawyers for the prisoners held at the Guantanamo Naval Base. Several NACDL members have taken on the impossible task of defending people the government has not officially charged. These lawyers represent the prisoners at Guantanamo at their own expense without even travel expenses paid by the government. If the government truly believes that the American justice system is the best in the world, then it must not continue to ignore the responsibilities and rights that system provides. The Military Commissions the government has convened for a few prisoners are not American justice. They are a makeshift, illegal system no American can accept.
To continue to hold over 400 men and boys -- some now for over four years -- without filing charges makes a mockery of justice. As defense lawyers, we try to give our clients hope, but we cannot even give them a hearing date. For many, hope is running out.
NACDL urges the government to respond to the recent suicides of its prisoners by immediately filing charges if warranted, setting trial dates and providing lawyers, experts and investigators as necessary to assist indigent prisoners to prepare defenses. If the government does not have probable cause to believe these prisoners committed crimes against the United States, it must immediately free them. The world is watching.
Nancy Hollander is a criminal defense lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. She is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is chair of NACDL’s Guantanamo Bay Detainees and Military Tribunals Committee. She is lead American counsel for Guantanamo Detainee No. 760, Mohamedou Ould Slahi of Mauritania.
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.
For further information, contact Ms. Hollander at 505-842-9960 or NACDL Public Affairs at 202-872-8600, ext. 228.
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.