Washington, DC (July 20, 2017) – Today, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) jointly introduced the "Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017." This legislation would help bring about more just pretrial release determinations and represents a clear recognition of the vital role of counsel at the pretrial stage. If enacted, it would authorize a $10 million grant to incentivize and encourage states to end the practice of money bail. Principles for obtaining grants under the bill include replacing money bail with individualized, pretrial guidelines that favor release as well as appointment of counsel at the earliest possible stage of pretrial detention, approaches strongly supported by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The bill would also encourage states to institute a system of data collection and reporting that includes steps to ensure that risk assessment tools do not result in racial, ethnic, gender, or class disparities.
"NACDL applauds the bipartisan introduction of this important legislation," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "Long-standing NACDL policy supports the right of every person accused of a crime to argue for pretrial release, the right to have counsel to make that argument, and a strong presumption in favor of pretrial release. Our jails should not be filled with people detained before trial. Since every person is innocent until proven guilty, pretrial detention should be the exception, not the rule. Nor should pre-trial release be conditioned on the ability to post money bonds. Conditioning release on the payment of bail results in people being incarcerated solely because they lack financial means. Pretrial detention disproportionately affects poor and minority defendants. It is encouraging that there is bipartisan support for a bill that recognizes the importance of addressing the critical issues raised by unnecessary pretrial detention."
As set forth in NACDL's policy Concerning Pretrial Release and Limited Use of Financial Bond, "NACDL supports the establishment of concrete guidelines to govern the determination of whether and under what conditions an accused is released pretrial. These guidelines shall presumptively favor release on personal recognizance. Consistent with the current ABA Standards on Pretrial Release, these guidelines permit the denial of bail only when the judicial officer finds clear and convincing evidence the accused represents a significant risk of flight or imminent physical harm to others."
In 2016, NACDL, in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, and with grant support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, published the New Jersey Pretrial Justice Manual in an effort to support New Jersey attorneys as they work to end pretrial injustice in the state.
In 2015, NACDL, in partnership with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender and the Colorado Criminal Defense Institute, and with grant support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, published the Colorado Bail Book: A Defense Attorney's Guide to Adult Pretrial Release.
In connection with both manuals, NACDL conducted trainings in both states for nearly 600 public defense providers. Similar manuals for more jurisdictions are forthcoming.
For more information on NACDL's work in the area of pretrial release reform, please visit https://www.nacdl.org/pretrialrelease/.
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, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 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.