Washington, DC (August 14, 1995) -- "The federal 'three strikes' law tried to fix a system that wasn't broken," according to Robert Fogelnest, of New York City, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). "In fact, it's just another instance of federal authority intruding into matters traditionally and properly left to the states."
On the day set for sentencing of Thomas Lee Farmer in a federal district court in Iowa -- the first-ever sentencing under the new federal law -- Fogelnest called the law "absurd and unnecessary."
"The federal and most state criminal justice systems already have laws under which repeat or habitual offenders get substantially longer sentences. This defendant, for example, would be sentenced to 25-30 years as a 'career criminal' under the federal sentencing guidelines. He's 42 years old now, so even without the 'three-strikes' law, he couldn't get out of prison before he was 67. Sixty-seven year-olds don't commit much violent crime,"Fogelnest noted.
"States that have rushed to enact broad 'three stikes' laws, like California, are finding that their judicial and prison systems -- to say nothing of their state and local budgets -- are being strained past the breaking point by the huge volume of cases these laws create. Knowing that an initial or second conviction could later subject them to a life sentence, more and more defendants are insisting on trials instead of accepting plea agreements."
"'Three strikes' laws will force taxpayers to support geriatric offenders who must be kept in prison long after their propensity to commit additional crimes has passed. And overbroad 'three strikes' laws can send people to prison for life merely for committing nonviolent crimes," Fogelnest said.
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.