WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2014) - Clemency Project 2014TM is excited to announce that more than 20,000 federal prisoners have returned surveys seeking pro bono representation in the clemency process. Over the course of the next 30 days, the Project will begin to forward survey responses to trained lawyers who will help the Project assess whether they meet the Justice Department's clemency criteria and, if so, assist them in filing clemency petitions.
In additional news, the Project conducted training July 15-16 for over 550 attorneys from the private bar from 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Over 500 more attorneys have accessed the training online via on-demand viewing since. The training included an overview of federal sentencing guidelines and applicable case law, as well as how to determine whether a sentence would be lower if imposed today, one of six criteria for clemency. In the near future, federal defenders, as well as additional members of the private bar, will also receive clemency training.
The project currently has over 1,000 attorneys who have volunteered to participate. Twenty large law firms have each agreed to represent at least ten or more eligible prisoners, and dozens more have expressed interest.
It has been reported that the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) is currently assessing the extent to which Federal Defenders can participate in this historic initiative. Clemency Project 2014 hopes that the AO will fully support this important project, and believes that continuity in representation is vital. Accordingly, Federal Defenders are best positioned to assist their current or former clients. In any event, Clemency Project 2014 is confident that the nation’s bar will ensure that every clemency initiative-eligible prisoner who requests counsel will have access to a skilled advocate.
Training also addressed all of the criteria announced by the Department of Justice. For candidates to be eligible for clemency under this initiative, they must be:
- currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense(s) today;
- have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels;
- have served at least 10 years;
- have no significant prior convictions;
- have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and
- have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.
Clemency Project 2014 partners are pleased that the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided on July 18th to make recent drug sentencing reductions fully retroactive. This move demonstrates the widening consensus that our federal sentencing laws are excessive and in dire need of reform. Clemency Project 2014 is currently studying what impact this decision will have on the number of federal prisoners eligible for clemency under the Deputy Attorney General’s initiative.
In order to communicate more directly with media and the public, Clemency Project 2014--a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations--will soon unveil a website through which journalists and volunteers may reach out to all the involved organizations through one contact form. In the meantime, reporters may contact The Clemency Project by emailing email@example.com.
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.