February 28, 2013

Criminal Justice Policies Passed at 2013 Midyear Meeting

2013_MY_104A This resolution urges Congress to establish an independent federally funded Center for Indigent Defense Services for the purpose of assisting state, local, tribal and territorial governments in carrying out their Constitutional obligation to provide effective assistance of counsel for the defense of the indigent accused in criminal, juvenile, and civil commitment proceedings.

2013_MY_104C This resolution urges jurisdictions to enact legislation to prohibit the retaliatory discharge of a Chief Public Defender, or other head of an indigent defense services provider, because of his or her good faith effort to prevent acceptance of more clients than the office can competently and diligently represent.

2013_MY_104D The resolution urges the federal government to restore, maintain and where appropriate increase funding to organizations which provide training to state and local prosecutors, to better promote justice, increase public safety, and prevent wrongful convictions.

2013_MY_104E This resolution urges courts to ensure that defense counsel for a juvenile in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding inquires and investigates a juvenile defendant’s immigration status; informs the juvenile defendant about any possible immigration penalties/consequences and possible relief that may flow from different dispositions of the case; and seeks to minimize adverse immigration consequences according to the best interests of the client. It further requires judicial warnings about such immigration penalties and/or consequences without infringing on attorney client privilege and without inquiring into juvenile’s immigration status unless alienage is an element of the charge. This resolution further urges jurisdictions to provide training to support efforts to provide necessary resources to defense counsel and defender agencies and organizations to provide their noncitizen juvenile clients effective legal representation that effectively and competently discharges their duty to fully address immigration consequences in their representation of juveniles.

2013_MY_104F This Resolution encourages lawmakers to enact laws and regulations and to develop policies that assure that once an individual has been identified as a victim of human trafficking, that individual: should not be prosecuted for crimes related to their prostitution or other non-violent deadly crimes that are a direct result of the individual’s status as a victim of human trafficking; should be housed appropriately; should be provided appropriate protection and should be assured their names and identifying information will not be disclosed to the public.

2013_MY_104G The Resolution encourages lawmakers to enact legislation allowing adult and minor human trafficking victims charged with prostitution related offenses or other non-violent offenses that are a direct result of their being trafficked, to assert an affirmative defense of being a human trafficking victim.

2013_MY_104H This Resolution urges lawmakers to aid adult and minor victims of human trafficking by enacting and enforcing laws and policies that permit victims of human trafficking to vacate their criminal convictions for crimes related to prostitution or other non-violent crimes that are a direct result of their trafficking victimization; encourages legal assistance providers to develop pro bono programs to assist victims of human trafficking to vacate convictions for offenses that are a direct result of their trafficking victimization; and calls for lawmakers to help establish and fund programs to assist victims with the process.

2013_MY_104I This Resolution encourages the development and implementation of training programs for judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, law enforcement officers, immigration officials and other investigators that will enable them to identify adult and minor victims of human trafficking, enable them to direct victims and their families to agencies that offer social and legal services and benefits designed to assist victims of human trafficking and enable them to communicate effectively with adult and minor victims who have experienced trauma.

2013_MY_104J This resolution recommends changes to three of the Instructions in the Model Grand Jury Charge, which was promulgated by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The three recommendations for changes are as follows: (1) Delete paragraph 10 (which now reads: “Furthermore, when deciding whether or not to indict, you should not consider punishment in the event of conviction.”); (2) Revise paragraph 23 (to read: “Frequently, charges are made against more than one person. It will be your duty to examine the evidence as it relates to each person, and to make your finding as to each person. In other words, where charges are made against more than one person, you may indict only those persons who you believe properly deserve indictment. You must remember to consider the charges against each person separately.”); and (3) Revise paragraph 25 (to read: “To return an indictment charging an individual with an offense, it is not necessary that you find that individual guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You are not a trial jury and your task is not to decide the guilt or innocence of the person charged. Your task is to determine whether the government's evidence as presented to you is sufficient to cause you to conclude that there is probable cause to believe that the person being investigated committed the offense charged. To put it another way, you may vote to indict only where the evidence presented to you is sufficiently strong to warrant a reasonable person's belief that the person being investigated is probably guilty of the offense charged.”).