The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was formed twenty-five years ago to improve the quality and administration of justice. WACDL has over 1000 members – private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, and related professionals committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.
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Mike Filipovic, a past WACDL president, has been appointed the new Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington.
From the Seattle Weekly: If anything, [Nick] Brown might have guessed that Inslee supported capital punishment. The only time Inslee voted on the matter was as a Congressman representing a district in eastern Washington in 1994. Faced with a bill that would have substituted life imprisonment for the death penalty, Inslee voted no.
From the News Tribune: DNA evidence helped convict Guy Rasmussen of one of the most notorious crimes in Pierce County history: the kidnapping, rape and murder of 9-year-old Cynthia “Cindy” Allinger in 1996. Now, Rasmussen is hoping that same evidence will help set him free.
WSBA is seeking candidates for District 9 board position (apply by February 21), District 8 board position (apply by April 8), At Large board position (apply by April 18), and committee positions (apply by February 28).
New York Times: On a typical recent morning Colleen M. Polak, a St. Louis County public defender, ran upstairs and down and up again and in and out of four courtrooms, simultaneously representing clients in 10 cases.
WACDL opposes Senate Bill 5020. As described by TVW, "Criminal defendants with assets would have to pay a portion of their public defender costs."
Bills still alive, and dead, at the halfway point of the 2014 legislative session.
Seattle Times: At a meeting of Washington state county administrators last year, [Clallam County Administrator] Jim Jones said one budget-busting scenario provoked the biggest wave of anxiety among the budget officers: a death penalty murder prosecution.
Seattle Times: Capital punishment fails the sober metrics of good public policy.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he will not permit any executions while he is governor.
New York Times editorial: The founders understood very well that there could be miscarriages of justice even under the rule of law. By allowing the president to commute unjust sentences or pardon deserving petitioners who had served their time, they sought to ensure that the workings of the courts could be tempered with mercy.
From the Seattle P-I: Seattle-based federal appellate judge Richard Tallman will serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, one of two panels charged with overseeing the legality and propriety of spying by the "national security state."
From Crosscut: The Seattle Police Department has drafted a new policy to guide the use of facial recognition software.
PsychCental.com: "A new study suggests that the primary reason people say they support the death penalty is based on an incorrect assumption — that the death of the murderer would bring satisfaction and closure to the victim’s family."
WACDL filed an amicus brief with the WSSC in June of 2013. The court issued its ruling on February 6, 2014
From the Olympian: Thurston County will celebrate 15 years of Drug Court and its newer "problem-solving courts" during a benefit dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Lacey Community Center.
From the Tri-City Herald: "A Tri-City judge ruled Wednesday the personal information of low-level sex offenders in Benton County is not public information and shouldn't be released to a Mesa woman."
On January 23, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court issued this ruling in this case, a case where WACDL had filed an amicus brief.
New York Times: "In decisions widely hailed as milestones, the United States Supreme Court in 2010 and 2012 acted to curtail the use of mandatory life sentences for juveniles, accepting the argument that children, even those who are convicted of murder, are less culpable than adults and usually deserve a chance at redemption."