Washington, DC (Sept. 6, 2012) – Today Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order upholding Guantanamo detainees’ access to counsel. The order directly addresses and rejects each argument made by the Government in its attempt to weaken the detainees’ constitutional right to seek review of the legality of their detention.
“The Court has an obligation to assure that those seeking to challenge their Executive detention by petitioning for habeas relief have adequate, effective and meaningful access to the courts. In the case of Guantanamo detainees, access to the courts means nothing without access to counsel.” The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) applauds this decision as it continues the fight for attorney-client rights at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
NACDL filed an amicus letter in favor of the detainees. NACDL has openly opposed the system of indefinite detention without charge or trial currently in place at Guantanamo Bay, and finds that continued detention under these circumstances amounts to criminal punishment. Since the creation of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there has been an effort on the part of the Government to deny meaningful access to counsel to the detainees being held there. Time and again, the Courts have been called upon to step in and right this wrong. Once again, Judge Lamberth did just that.
In February, NACDL’s Ethics Advisory Committee issued an opinion addressing the attorney-client privilege, legal mail, and client access issues at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is this policy that most significantly justifies NACDL’s interest in this case as NACDL has a strong interest in guaranteeing meaningful access to counsel and effective assistance of counsel to all Guantanamo detainees.
The case is In re: Guantanamo Bay Continued Access to Counsel, Misc. No. 12-0398.
- NACDL’s “letter brief” supporting petitioner detainees’ motions for continued counsel access (PDF)
- NACDL’s Ethics Advisory Opinion 12-02: Disclosure of attorney-client privileged communications to third-party (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) (PDF)
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.
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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.
Jack King, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7628 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.