Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

WACDL was formed to improve the quality and administration of justice.  WACDL has close to 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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News & Information

Six cases of ‘prosecutorial misconduct’
News Tribune: Since 2013, the Washington State Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court have ordered new trials for defendants in six cases where Pierce County deputy prosecutors were found to have committed reversible error — called “prosecutorial misconduct.” Here are snapshots of each of those cases.
Pierce County prosecutors lead state in cases overturned because of their ‘flagrant’ actions
News Tribune: It’s rare in the state of Washington for so-called “prosecutorial misconduct” to lead to the reversal of someone’s criminal conviction. A prosecutor’s mistake in those instances must be so “flagrant and ill-intentioned” that nothing short of a new trial would correct it. What’s not unusual is for one of those instances to come from Pierce County.
State must rise to federal judge’s rebuke on mental health system
Seattle Times editorial: A stinging rebuke by a federal judge underscores the need for a more coherent mental health system.
State Supreme Court judge gives talk on stereotypes
Daily Record: Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez spoke at Central Washington University on Monday night in a talk titled “The Promise of Equality is Justice for All.”
Cowlitz County judge: State too slow in helping mentally ill suspects
The Daily News Online: A Cowlitz County judge is threatening to hold a state agency in contempt for failing to provide hospital beds for mentally ill criminal defendants in a legal and timely way.
King County aims to root out racial disparity in juvenile justice system
Kent Reporter: King County Executive Dow Constantine and Superior Court Presiding Judge Susan Craighead were joined by Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Joe McDermott and Dave Upthegrove on Tuesday to announce new measures to further reduce both the county’s youth detention population and the unacceptable racial disparities growing within it.
The Supreme Court’s Death Trap
New York Times Op-Ed: You wouldn’t know it from the death penalty proceeding about to take place in the Boston Marathon case, or from Utah’s reauthorization of the firing squad, or the spate of botched lethal injections, but capital punishment in the United States is becoming vestigial.
Federal magistrate, former Yakima County judge, retiring
Yakima Herald: After eight years on the federal bench, Magistrate Judge James Hutton is retiring in January.
Judge dismisses long-running sex-abuse case, citing “prosecutorial vindictiveness” by Pierce prosecutors
Tacoma News Tribune: Defense attorney Les Tolzin mouthed one word — “wow” — after [Judge] Murphy read his decision.
State v. Adrian Bentura Ozuna (No. 90666-1)
On March 30, 2015, WACDL filed an amicus brief in this case.
How “prisons without bars” could cut the cost of prison and keep people from coming back
Washington Post: You probably already know the jaw-dropping stats about American prisons: that the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. That we're home to 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of its prisoners.
Bar Exam, the Standard to Become a Lawyer, Comes Under Fire
New York Times: For decades, law school graduates have endured a stressful rite of passage, spending the first 10 weeks after classes end taking cram courses in the arcane details of the law before sitting down for the grueling, days-long bar exam.
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Upcoming Events
Federal Bar: Forfeiture May 06, 2015 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM — 19th floor conference room at USDC 700 Stewart Street, Seattle
Federal Bar: Immigration Issues Jun 10, 2015 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM — 19th floor conference room at USDC 700 Stewart Street, Seattle
2015 Annual Conference Jun 11, 2015 - Jun 13, 2015 — Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan