Washington, DC (July 19, 1995) -- "Even as these Subcommittees begin to review the tragic debacle at Waco, ironically both Houses of Congress are considering measures to expand still further the powers of the very federal agencies responsible for that and other disasters. Those measures would bring about dramatic increases in the unchecked power, authority, and role of federal officials in everyday American life," according to National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Gerald H. Goldstein.
In testimony today to the House Crime and Criminal Justice Subcommittees on the first day of hearings to examine the tragic 1993 events at the Branch Dividian compound near Waco, Texas, Goldstein attacked political leaders of both parties for hypocrisy in condemning law enforcement abuses at Waco while at the same time pushing new measures to expand the powers of federal law enforcement agents and weaken civil liberties.
Among the measures to which Goldstein referred are pending proposals to (1) abolish or severely curtail the exclusionary rule, the only effective means of enforcing the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable government intrusions into citizens' lives; (2) exempt federal prosecutors from state ethical rules that have applied to all lawyers since our nation's founding; and (3) curtail Fifth Amendment protections against coercive police interrogations.
"The[se measures] are inconsistent with the concept of limiting the power of the federal government otherwise advanced by these same political leaders and are contrary to the principles of limited government upon which this nation was founded. . . . This is not the time to loosen the constitutional reins on federal law enforcement or scale back protection of citizens' individual and property rights," Goldstein warned.
"Some of those who today express concern about federal law enforcement tactics in Waco are the sponsors and supporters of pending proposals to emasculate and even eliminate the very safeguards that provide our citizenry protection against such governmental abuses. Election-day rhetoric has given many citizens the misconception that "liberal courts" using "technicalities" regularly loose criminals to prey upon innocent citizens. It is rarely mentioned that among these "technicalities" are the first ten amendments to our constitutional bulwark that separates us from those totalitarian states we so regularly denounce," Goldstein reminded subcommittee members.
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.
NACDL Communications Department
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.