Washington, DC (December 21, 1995) -- "Growing and increasingly powerful law enforcement agencies urgently require increased oversight," said Robert Fogelnest, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in response to the report released today by the Senate subcommittee investigating the August, 1992 tragedy at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
"How many more innocent Americans need to get shot to death as a result of 'mistakes and misinformation' by law enforcement authorities," Fogelnest asked? "How many deaths does it take before too many people have died?"
"The subcommittee's unanimous conclusions reflect concerns that the nation's criminal defense lawyers have been expressing for some time now," he said, referring to the report of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information. The subcommittee concluded that:
- the ATF informant was virtually untrained regarding entrapment, and his conduct in getting Randy Weaver to sell two illegal shotguns was, if not the outright entrapment of an innocent citizen, perilously close to entrapment;
- policies of having informants' compensation determined only after trial are troubling because of their obvious potential for inducing perjury and other perversions of the criminal justice system;
- internal reviews of the Ruby Ridge events by law enforcement agencies were seriously flawed, marred by internal bias to justify agency conduct and the refusal to admit mistakes;
- the improper attitude of the U.S. Attorney was primarily responsible for inadequate attention being given to clear opportunities to effect Weaver's arrest by non-confrontational means;
- the "rules of engagement" and the FBI sniper's gunshot that killed Vicki Weaver were in violation of the Constitution.
"The Senate panel is right on the mark in saying that 'reestablishing the bond of trust between Americans and our law enforcement agencies must begin with an honest accounting by those in government,'" Fogelnest, a New York City attorney, added. "We continue to urge congressional leaders to hold hearings to comprehensively examine law enforcement abuses. And we implore them not to pass any new legislation -- like so-called 'antiterrorism' legislation that may come to the House floor as early as January -- that confers still greater powers on the very agencies at fault in the Ruby Ridge case and numerous other 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.