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Profile: andre.vitale

Andre serves as a trial lawyer and Training Director. He has created new and innovative programs designed to help attorneys develop legal skills; confidence in their abilities; and inspire lawyers to serve as client–centered, relentless advocates. He has developed programs designed for new attorneys as they start their careers as public defenders, as well as advanced trial skills programs for more experienced lawyers. His programs have been well received and are being replicated in other areas of the state and country. In the past two years he has assisted the Montana Office of the State Defender and the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office in developing a Defending a Child Sex Case to train attorneys in their state. As a trial lawyer, Andre carries a full caseload representing individuals charged with Violent Felonies and Major Drug Crimes. He has significant trial experience having litigated more than 90 jury trials, developing an expertise in defending sex cases and challenging DNA evidence. Andre is on the faculty of Gideon’s Promise (gideonspromise.org); the Bronx Defenders Trial Academy; the Louisiana Public Defender Training Institute; the Litigation and Persuasion Institute (Kentucky); the King County Public Defender (Seattle, WA) Litigation Training Academy; Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute Trial Advocacy Workshop, and Legal Aid Society’s (NYC) DNA Defense College. He is both a presenter and frequent blog contributor for the National Association of Public Defense (publicdefenders.us). Andre is a former Board Member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), where he continues to serve as the Chair of the Indigent Defense Committee as well as a member of the CLE Committee. He also serves as a member of the Indigent Defense Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Due to his passion and commitment to client–centered representation, Andre has received the Kevin Andersen Award by the New York State Defender’s Association (NYSDA) and the Denison Ray Award by the New York State Bar Association. In addition to his legal accomplishments, Andre has finished sixteen marathons.

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NAPD News

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

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On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.