This award was established to recognize defense attorneys who embody the principles enunciated in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Defense Function.
This award is in honor of the late Albert J. Krieger, who was the Section’s Chair from 2002 to 2003. Krieger was the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 1979 to 1980 and helped establish the National Criminal Defense College at Mercer University in 1985. He also represented the NACDL in the ABA House of Delegates for many years and was considered one of the ABA's most respected voices on criminal justice issues.
His clients ranged from corporate executives to notorious Mafia leaders, but as documented in the New York Times on May 28, 2020, “he was proudest of having worked without a fee on behalf of the American Indian Movement members who occupied Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973.”
The award will honor lawyers who have devoted a substantial portion of their legal careers to public or private criminal defense practice, whether state or federal, and who have distinguished themselves as criminal trial lawyers, embodied the principles enunciated in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Defense Function, and made substantial contributions to improvement of the criminal justice system through the organized bar or non-governmental entities.