Washington, DC (July 18, 2014) – This afternoon, the U.S. Sentencing Commission took a significant step, long urged by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and numerous allied organizations in the criminal justice community, to cut federal prison terms for drug offenses. The reform adopted today retroactively decreases the drug table set forth in U.S. Sentencing Guidelines §2D1.1 by two-offense levels across all drug types. In short, it means that, effective November 1 of this year, some 50,000 people currently incarcerated in the federal prison system for drug offenses could be eligible for a reduction of their sentence by an average of nearly two years, with releases beginning November 1, 2015.
NACDL President Jerry J. Cox explained why today's move by the U.S. Sentencing Commission makes so much sense, "What was done today by the Commission is eminently just. The federal government had already reduced the sentencing guidelines for these offenses going forward. What they did today was simply apply this fairer and more rational thinking to those who had already been sentenced and have been serving draconian sentences, at great public expense, in America’s federal prison system." Cox added, "And the data is in anyway. Individual states that have reduced previously inflexible sentences have uniformly seen declines in their crime rates. The common sense on criminal justice that appears to be taking hold in our nation’s capital is good for fairness and justice, it’s good for public safety, and it reflects a more prudent stewardship of taxpayer resources."
NACDL has long advocated for an end to mandatory minimums and for fairer and more rational sentencing policies. In connection with the Commission's consideration of the retroactivity of Amendment 3, adopted today, the Association filed this letter on July 7, 2014. Additional NACDL resources on sentencing reform can be found here.
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.