- Champion Article
in Post-Conviction Settings
During parole board hearings, sometimes a client will use language indicating that he deserved a severe sentence for his crime. Clients learn this language while attending prison programs that subtly teach them to say what the parole board wants to hear. The client may use this language (“program speak”) even though he committed no crime. In doing this, however, the client may foreclose any future possibility of clearing his name. How can a defense lawyer mitigate such statements?
The NACDL Task Force on Risk Assessment Tools commissioned Dr. Melissa Hamilton to produce a comprehensive analysis of how risk assessment tools are developed and applied. This report is a significant contribution to the body of scholarship and resources concerning risk assessment tools. It is an in-depth and accessible resource for practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and indeed all system actors in the nation’s criminal legal apparatus. It is designed to provide the information and guidance necessary to properly assess various risk assessment tools. [Released November 2020]
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer and Federal Public and Community Defenders of the Third Circuit in support of appellee on rehearing en banc.
Argument: District court’s sentence of probation, home confinement and alcohol treatment was appropriate in this tax evasion case. The brief addresses in detail the failure of the Sentencing Commission to comply with statutory mandates relative to probation, as applied in particular to tax and other white collar cases, concluding that under the Supreme Court's recent decisions in Gall and Kimbrough judges should be especially free to reject the guidelines' excessive reliance on imprisonment and instead to grant a great deal more probationary sentences than has been the case in the last 20 years.