Archive September 2017

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NAPD Files Brief Amicus Brief in Support of the Cook County Public Defender's Office

In Cole, the lower court held Amy Campanelli, the Public Defender of Cook County, personally in contempt of court because she  refused to allow her office to represent the sixth defendant in a six-defendant murder prosecution. 

Jenkins v. Hutton: Supreme Court Reaffirms Sawyer Standard for Reviewing Defaulted Habeas Claims

In deciding whether a federal habeas petitioner can pursue a procedurally defaulted claim of improper jury instructions in a death penalty case, the question is whether, given proper instructions about aggravating circumstances, a reasonable jury could have decided that aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 19 in Jenkins v. Hutton.

Retiree Accused of Stealing $5 and Cologne Remains Jailed on $350K Bond

Kenneth Humphrey, a 64-year-old retired shipyard worker, has remained in San Francisco County Jail since his May 23 arrest, unable to post bail. Humphrey, who is accused of following an elderly neighbor into his residential hotel room and stealing $5 and a bottle of cologne, faced $600,000 bail. A judge later reduced his bail to $350,000, but the price of his freedom remains too high.

The Criminalization of Homelessness

Cities across the country use the criminal justice system to address the problem of homelessness by punishing folks for engaging in daily life preserving activities in public such as sleeping, sitting, eating, drinking, using the restroom or asking for change.

NAPD Files Amicus Urging SCOTUS to Reverse a Decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholding a Conviction Obtained through the Knowing and Uncorrected Use of False Testimony

On September 15, 2017, the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD), in collaboration with Miller & Chevalier, a Washington, D.C.-based firm, filed a brief as amicus curiae in support of a petition for certiorari urging the United States Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a defendant’s conviction despite a prosecutor’s knowing use of, and failure to correct, false testimony.

Ed Monahan Retires as Kentucky Public Advocate

Ed Monahan’s last day as Kentucky Public Advocate was Friday, September 15, 2017.  DPA held an event in his honor on his last day.  Below are some of the comments that I made during the event.

Defender Association Advocates for Investigation to be Launched Within the Philadelphia Police Department's Narcotics Bureau

Racism, especially within government, is a destructive force that erodes the legitimacy of our institutions and perpetuates violations of human rights. It is inappropriate for any Philadelphia Police Officer to display symbols with racist connotations or to refer to African Americans in our community as “a pack of rabid animals.” 

Protests and the Public Defender

When a protest is in the offing in your community, a wise public defender already has a plan in mind for what to do about the arrests and how to get people out of jail. Be proactive, set up your team and plan ahead of time.  With that thought in mind, the following suggestions are to assist with mapping a strategy for your office:

U.S. Supreme Court Summaries

The U.S. Supreme Court in June issued opinions dealing with juvenile life without parole, and Brady, but the impact of both is limited.

Are You on Facebook?

Mobile devices, emails, Instagram, twitter.  Not only that, but you are expected to check your devices at night and on weekends.   It’s all enough to drive you crazy.  We already know that we are far too distracted already.  So why are you writing us about Facebook?
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January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE

January 17, 2018: The 2018 NAPD Investigators Conference and 2018 Social Workers & Sentencing Advocates Institute (March 26-29, 2018 in Denver, CO) are now at full capacity and closed for registration. A wait list is being developed.

November 28, 2017: NAPD has uploaded videos of the presentations from the 2017 NAPD Workloads Conference in St. Louis (held November 17-18). Members can access these valuable presentations on MyGideon by logging into their NAPD account.

April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE

On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.