Washington, DC (November 13, 2009) – In light of today’s announcement by the White House that the alleged “high value” Guantanamo detainees charged with planning or participating in the 9/11 attack will now be tried in federal court rather than the constitutionally-defective military commission system, Norman L. Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, released the following statement:
“Today’s decision by the Obama Administration to transfer five so-called ‘high value’ prisoners to federal court is a victory for the Constitution and a vote of confidence in the American criminal justice system. Dozens of cases, before and after 9/11, have proven that the federal court system is capable of handling terrorism prosecutions, with reliable and trustworthy results, and no compromises in security or due process. The death penalty proceedings at Guantanamo had virtually none of the protections guaranteed to all by the Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights.
“The transfer of these cases to a federal court is one small, but critical step in the restoration of the dignity and reputation of the United States of America. For the past 8 years, the attacks of 9/11 undermined the Nation''s confidence in its constitutional underpinnings, and its criminal justice system. Today, that confidence, at least in part, is restored.
“I am proud of the military and civilian lawyers who collaborated in the John Adams Project and fulfilled the sacred obligation of the right to counsel throughout some of the most oppressive and arbitrary proceedings in the history of American justice. They are remarkable professionals deserve the thanks of the Nation.
“I now call upon the Department of Defense, the United States Attorneys Office and the District Court to ensure full and seamless continuity of counsel. The lawyers -- both military and civilian -- who have devoted so much to these cases and the cause of justice should remain at the side of their clients -- particularly those who have established relationships of trust and confidence. This too is a fundamental component of the Right to Counsel.
“America is showing the world that we intend to return to a system of justice that upholds the values we espouse for ourselves and for nations around the world. Therefore, when the defendants are arraigned and competent counsel are appointed to represent them, the John Adams Project will have achieved its primary goal – thwarting prosecutions that failed to meet basic standards of due process and the rights to confront witnesses, present a defense and effective assistance of counsel.
“Unfortunately, it appears that some individuals will still be subjected to possibly-capital military commission proceedings which do not comport with American values. The administration is perpetuating a flawed parallel justice system designed solely to convict, and the ACLU and the NACDL will continue to oppose it.”
The John Adams Project is a joint effort of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to provide expert teams of civilian capital defense lawyers to assist military defense counsel assigned to Guantánamo detainees in death penalty cases.
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.