Washington, DC (June 26, 2014) – The bipartisan Overcriminalization Task Force of the House Judiciary Committee held its eighth hearing this morning. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Secretary Rick Jones, who is also the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and Co-Chair of NACDL's Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, was one of two witnesses at the hearing.
Mr. Rick Jones
Executive Director, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
Co-Chair, NACDL Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction
Mr. Mathias (Mat) H. Heck, Jr.
Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney, Dayton, OH
Chair, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section
On behalf of NACDL, Jones forcefully and effectively provided guidance to the Task Force on the steps that Congress must take to address the ubiquitous problem of collateral consequences on the federal level. Both of the witnesses agreed and recommended to the Task Force that all mandatory collateral consequences that apply across the board be eliminated, urging restoration of rights and a more individualized approach where questions of public safety are at play. Numerous members of Congress were clearly seeking guidance from the witnesses as to how best to craft the necessary legislation to achieve goals set forth by NACDL in its recently-released report and recommendations on this important topic. And Jones was unambiguous in making the point – with supporting data – that the burden of the collateral consequences of arrest or conviction, as the balance of issues facing America’s criminal justice system, fall disproportionately upon racial and ethnic minorities.
The hearing follows the May 29 release of NACDL's major new report: Collateral Damage: America's Failure to Forgive or Forget in the War on Crime - A Roadmap to Restore Rights and Status After Arrest or Conviction. With more than 65 million people in America having some form of a criminal record, the universality and import of the problem this nonpartisan report tackles is tremendous. Collateral consequences and NACDL's report and recommendations have been front and center in the press in recent weeks, including a New York Times editorial on the subject. Additional coverage has come from NPR’s "All Things Considered," the Washington Post, and Wisconsin Public Radio, among others.
A webcast of the full hearing, the written testimony of Rick Jones on behalf of NACDL, and that of Mr. Mathias (Mat) H. Heck, Jr. (Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney, Dayton, OH; Chair, ABA Criminal Justice Section) will be made available here. Links to webcasts of all seven of the Task Force's previous hearings and the written testimony of all of the witnesses are available at www.nacdl.org/overcrimtaskforce.
To access resources and to learn more about NACDL's work on the problem of overcriminalization in America, visit www.nacdl.org/overcrim. On the subject of the collateral consequences of arrest or conviction, NACDL's recently released report, its Restoration of Rights Project, and more are all available at www.nacdl.org/restoration.
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, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 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.