Washington, DC (December 2, 2011) – Late last night, in the face of a presidential veto threat, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act containing some of the most harmful legislation to our criminal justice system adopted since September 11, 2001. Drafted by the Senate Armed Services Committee in two closed sessions, and without any public hearings to determine the effects of this legislation, this bill would authorize the indefinite detention without charge or trial of suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens.
The legislation would also require military detention of certain terrorism suspects, effectively authorizing the military to act as law enforcement within the United States. This mandatory military custody provision would have a negative impact on the ability of the criminal justice system to fight terrorism. While keeping Guantanamo open, the bill would also continue an onerous certification requirement that makes it essentially impossible for the administration to transfer detainees, even those already cleared for release or transfer by the Bush and Obama administrations, to their home or third countries.
In addition to White House opposition, this legislation passed against the advice of our most trusted national security experts: the Director of National Intelligence, Director of the FBI, Director of the CIA, and the head of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
In the coming days, the bill will go to conference, providing one final opportunity for the Members of Congress to do the right thing and send a clean bill to the President for his signature. Otherwise, NACDL urges the President to veto this legislation.
In calling for President Obama to veto this legislation, NACDL President Lisa Wayne explained, “Ten years after the Bush administration created the flawed military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay, the debate in Washington continues to be full of political rhetoric and lacking in fact and law. America’s criminal justice system has played an important role in protecting our national security. Since September 11, there have been more than 400 terrorism-related trials completed in the traditional criminal justice system, and there has been no evidence that the federal criminal process is incapable of ensuring effective law enforcement and justice for the accused.”
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.
Ivan Dominguez, Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 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.