Washington, DC (June 19, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers believes that safe and humane prisons must be the highest priority of any correctional system. NACDL welcomed the long-overdue hearing on solitary confinement held today before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. A letter sent yesterday from NACDL President Lisa Wayne to Chairman Dick Durbin raised several points which contravene the prevailing belief that solitary segregation is necessary for maintaining prison discipline and good order:
- Solitary confinement erodes and endangers the psychological health of inmates, causing among other things, paranoia, hallucinations, loss of self-control, aggression, and rage.
- Solitary confinement results in greater prison violence – paradoxically, long-term segregation has been shown to increase prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults.
- Prolonged solitary confinement undermines inmate socialization required for successful reentry into society.
Sen. John McCain, who spent more than two years in solitary confinement as a prisoner of war, has said, “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” When prolonged, such confinement constitutes torture. NACDL hopes Congress will recognize that, and will act to limit the use of solitary confinement in state, local and federal detention facilities.
A copy of President Wayne’s letter to Sen. Durbin is available on NACDL’s Web site.
Click here to view or download the letter.
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, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.