Expanded 'Counter-Terrorism' Powers Unnecessary and Dangerous
Washington, DC (December 6, 1995) -- "The only Americans who have any need at all for sweeping new 'antiterrorism' legislation are politicians desperate to boost their ratings back home before Congress adjourns for the year," noted John Flannery, co-chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' (NACDL) Legislative Committee, at a Capitol Hill press conference organized by a broad-based coalition of groups opposed to legislation the House is expected to take up early next week.
"Federal law enforcement agencies already have all the power they need to halt terrorism in the United States. They have more power than they can handle," Flannery, a criminal defense lawyer in Leesburg, Virginia, said. "The abuses inflicted on ordinary Americans at Waco and Ruby Ridge made that all too clear."
"The 'Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act' needlessly compromises the privacy of all Americans, opens the door to increased use of the military against civilians, threatens to infect the criminal justice system with secret procedures, and grants new powers to agencies that have demonstrated their inability to properly use those they already have. And it chokes off federal review of sentences, including death sentences, presumably to execute more people faster. It deserves to be called the "Tap 'Em, Entrap 'Em, and Zap 'Em" bill," he declared.
"Before Congress confers even more power upon the FBI, the ATF, over 50 other federal law enforcement agencies, to the military, and to the President, I urge legislators to weigh more carefully what such wholesale expansion of government authority will really mean for the safety, privacy, and freedom of our citizens," Flannery cautioned.
"At a minimum, Congress must address -- in a meaningful rather than a political way -- the serious issues raised by Waco, Ruby Ridge, and other cases where federal law enforcement agencies have injured innocent citizens while abusing the vast array of powers they now have," he added. "We underscored the urgent need for increased oversight of law enforcement activities in the letter this coalition sent to congressional leaders several weeks ago."
Flannery referred to the letter sent to House and Senate leaders on October 24, 1995, by the coalition including NACDL, the National Rifle Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Second Amendment Foundation, National Black Police Association, and nine other groups from across the political spectrum. The letter addressed several categories of lawless or abusive behavior by federal law enforcement agencies and urged specific reforms, including a national commission to comprehensively review law enforcement policies and practices.
"We're waiting for a response," Flannery said. "Meanwhile, conferring still greater powers on these very agencies is an open invitation for even more devastating abuses of American citizens."
The full text of John Flannery's statement, detailing NACDL's criticism of the antiterrorism bill, will be available at the press conference at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, 1995 at the ACLU's office, 122 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC; it is also available, upon request, by fax in advance of the press conference.
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.