Academic journal article Fordham Urban Law Journal

Padilla and the Future of the Defense Function

Academic journal article Fordham Urban Law Journal

Padilla and the Future of the Defense Function

Article excerpt

On June 20-21, 2011, individuals with a wide array of backgrounds in the criminal justice system convened in New York City to discuss the future of the defense function. This convening was hosted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, and the Foundation for Criminal Justice, along with co-sponsors the ABA Criminal Justice Section's Task Force on Comprehensive Representation, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, Fordham Law School's Stein Center for Law and Ethics, and the Fordham Urban Law Journal. It was made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

The Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky provided the impetus for the convening. The Padilla decision recognized that the legal advice and assistance provided by defense counsel should not focus exclusively on the direct outcome of a criminal prosecution--e.g. seeking to secure an acquittal, reduce the charges or minimize the client's sentence. The Padilla decision underscored a belief, long held by many in the defense community, that the role and duties of the defense lawyer include addressing the causes and broad consequences of the client's involvement in the criminal justice system. …

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