Washington, DC (Nov. 17, 2015) – Today, E.G. "Gerry" Morris, President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) testified on behalf of the Association at a public hearing of the Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Program (CJA Committee) of the Judicial Conference of the United States in Santa Fe, N.M.
According to the CJA Study flyer, this ad hoc committee "[a]ppointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., …will conduct a comprehensive and impartial review of the Criminal Justice Act program, which secures the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel for federal criminal defendants." The CJA Committee's website also invites participation and input from all stakeholders in order to accomplish this goal.
Upon its empaneling in October 2013, NACDL's Task Force on Federal Indigent Defense was concerned that it had been twenty years since the federal indigent defense system had undergone a comprehensive review. As detailed in the Task Force's recent report, Federal Indigent Defense 2015: The Independence Imperative, "no comprehensive study and analysis, as envisioned by the  Prado Report, has been performed in the two decades since," even though the Prado Report recommended that "'a comprehensive global examination of the CJA program should be undertaken every seven years.'" The report also specified "Seven Fundamentals of a Robust Federal Indigent Defense System," which centered around the theme of independence from the judiciary.
Mr. Morris summarized these points to the CJA Committee, adding that "As the review process unfolds, NACDL urges the committee to invite the judiciary, the administrative component, and the defense community to articulate with specificity a new vision for federal public defense system – one that will scrupulously safeguard independence and ensure that that every accused person in the federal system has access to high quality representation. In pursuit of this quest, NACDL stands ready to assist the Committee and the federal public defense community however it can."
Mr. Morris's testimony on behalf of NACDL is available here, and video of the Santa Fe hearing is expected to be made available by the CJA Committee here. More information about the CJA Committee, including how to anonymously submit comments, is available here.
There will be further hearings on this issue in the coming months, and a full list of dates and locations is available at www.nacdl.org/indigentdefense/federalcrisis.
You can read more about NACDL's dedicated efforts in the area of indigent defense at www.nacdl.org/indigentdefense.
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.
Ezra Dunkle-Polier, NACDL Public Affairs & Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7656 or email@example.com for more information.
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.