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    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson
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    • Last month a new training program for indigent defenders was launched in Western New York—titled the Western New York Advanced Trial Skills Program. It broke new ground in the region in the way indigent defense providers, both public and private, are trained.
    • “Mr. Napier, would you stand up?” I used to hate it when one of my lawyers did that in the Madison District Court when I ran the Richmond Public Defender’s Office for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. Why? It meant that one of my lawyers a. had never interviewed the client, or b. had so many cases that he couldn’t recognize one of his clients. Neither option pleased me.
    • The criminal justice story has been rewritten. No longer is the outlaw flawed and empathetic. No longer is the defense lawyer the criminal justice hero. Now the accused is a dehumanized menace. And the heroes are law enforcement and prosecutors.
    • Intellectually, I have always understood the temptation to think that police officers make attractive public defender investigators – there are certainly some overlapping skills. But I wondered how well those skills actually translate into defense advocacy when the same people who patrolled communities as cops switch cars and clothes and go forth to earn the trust of the community that they used to profile, entrap, and directly or indirectly keep on its knees.

    Contributing Authors

    mutual aid

    Our community includes brilliant men and women with a diversity of specializations, interests, and experiences. NAPD is a collection of individuals dedicated to public defense and the right to counsel connecting directly to share knowledge, brainstorm challenges, and offer support.

    you're the expert

    No one understands public defense better than the thousands of men and women across the country who engage in the work on a daily basis. Through the unified voice of NAPD, we will at last claim our rightful position as experts regarding the right to counsel and the systems designed to provide that valuable right.

    stronger together

    The men and women who dedicate their professional lives to public defense must serve as the catalysts for change. Through NAPD, we will speak with one voice for our clients and their constitutional right to counsel.