Washington, DC (July 17, 2012) – “Does the Constitution govern Gitmo?”
That is a question raised yesterday by James Connell, death penalty counsel for accused 9-11 conspirator Amar al-Baluchi, and several other 9-11 defense counsel. The defense lawyers filed a motion yesterday arguing that because the government is seeking to execute their clients, the commissions must provide them with due process of law and the full range of constitutional protections provided any death penalty defendant.
“It is time for the government to acknowledge that it cannot operate outside the Constitution, even at Guantanamo,” Connell said in a statement. “If the government maintains that it can operate beyond the reach of its own Constitution, the military commission will have to address the issue at [a future] hearing.”
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has maintained for over a decade that the full panoply of rights, including due process, the right to confront witnesses, the right to present a defense, and the right to effective assistance of counsel, must be a part of the commissions process.
According to the statement, David Kris, then-Assistant Attorney General and head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, testified before Congress in 2009 that, “Our analysis . . . is that the due process clause applies to military commissions and imposes a constitutional floor on the procedures that would govern such commission, including against enemy aliens.” But Connell reports that the government’s chief prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, told the military judge presiding over al Nashiri’s case last April that he was “aware of no authority” that would extend the right of due process of law to Guantanamo defendants.
The motion, AE057 Defense Motion to Recognize That the Constitution Governs the Military Commissions, is under seal pending a security review. But according to the defense statement, it argues that the framework the Supreme Court established in Boumediene v. Bush (2008) requires that constitutional protections, including the right to due process, govern the military commissions proceedings unless the prosecution can show that the protections of a particular right would be “impractical and anomalous.”
The judge presiding over the 9-11 proceedings, Army Col. James Pohl, yesterday continued the next set of hearings until August 22-26, after Ramadan.
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 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.