Stealth Surveillance Legislation in Appropriations Bills
Washington, DC (September 19, 1996) -- Congress must remove provisions from an appropriations bill which would unfetter federal wiretappers, an unusual coalition of civil liberties and public interest groups said today. The organizations are protesting stealth legislation added to the Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary spending bill by Senate appropriators which would loosen legal standards for intercepting telephone and electronic communications, permit interception in certain non-criminal political investigations, and provide funding for intercepting digital (fiber optic) voice and data communications.
The letter was signed by representatives of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the National Rifle Association, the ACLU, the National Black Police Association, the American Muslim Council and the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, among others.
"In a time of increasingly sophisticated and more intrusive electronic surveillance, rather than providing less protection for Americans' privacy, Congress should be ensuring greater safeguards," said NACDL Past President Gerald Goldstein, one of the letter's signers. Provisions added by Senate appropriators to the spending bill, H.R. 3814, are steps in the wrong direction, Goldstein said. The provisions expand the list of rationales triggering government wiretapping. They would also allow wiretapping of any phone, computer or other communications device a target might use--including public phone booths, and the phones of family friends, business associates and businesses not suspected of any crime--whether or not the surveillance target is attempting to thwart or evade a valid, court-authorized wiretap. This new provision would apply to all surveillance cases, not just organized crime or suspected terrorist investigations, as claimed by some.
The coalition also protests the funding of the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, which would allow federal agents to intercept fiber optic telephone and other digital communications, because the FBI has not developed a plan that would satisfy the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, according to the letter.
A copy of the letter is available from NACDL.
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.
Click here or contact Jack King, NACDL Director of Public Affairs, or Leslie Hagin, NACDL Counsel and Legislative Director, (202) 872-8600; fax (202) 872-8690.
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.