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October 24, 2012

NACDL launches extraordinary new resource: on-line state-by-state "Restoration of Rights Database"

Us_map_legaledAs detailed in this news release, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has rolled out a amazing new on-line resource. I will let part of the text of the release explain:

NACDL is pleased to offer as both a resource for its members and as a service to the general public, a collection of individual downloadable documents that profile the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to relief from the numerous civil rights and other consequences of criminal conviction.  NACDL today launches this new section of its online Resource Center to house NACDL member and former U.S. Pardon Attorney (1990-97) Margaret Colgate Love’s comprehensive work on this topic in a user-friendly format.  It promises to be an indispensable guide for defense lawyers as well as members of the public affected by the collateral consequences of a conviction and those re-entering society or the workforce after a conviction.

As a result of the twin crises of overcriminalization and mass imprisonment in the United States, the population that can be served by this tremendous new resource is, sadly, enormous.... [because] is reported that some 65 million people, or one in four Americans, have an arrest or conviction record.

This new resource offers free assistance to those tens of millions of people and their lawyers, offering an interactive map with individual profiles summarizing the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction and the federal system regarding relief from the collateral consequences of conviction, including obtaining a pardon, expungement and the restoration of civil rights.  Click on a jurisdiction and you will get a short summary and a full profile detailing that jurisdiction’s law relating to both the loss and restoration of civil rights and firearms privileges and discussing any provisions on non-discrimination in employment and licensing.  These materials will be an enormous aid to lawyers in minimizing the collateral consequences suffered by clients and in restoring their rights and privileges.

In addition to the jurisdictional profiles, there is a set of charts covering all 50 states plus territories and the federal system, that provide a side by side comparison that makes it possible to see national patterns in restoration laws and policies....

A team of pro bono attorneys at the firm of Crowell & Moring LLP, led by partner Harry P. Cohen, provided significant assistance with this project, as did a number of law students from the Washington College of Law at American University and the University of Toledo School of law. Detailed acknowledgements are provided on the project’s home page, which is now live and publicly available at www.nacdl.org/rightsrestoration.

I have now already spent more than an hour clicking around these NACDL pages to discover a stunning amount of valuable and user-friendly materials assembled via this project.  Kudos to everyone involved in this important and productive endeavor.

October 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM | Permalink


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Very nice. But last time i looked this was and is supposed to be a representative democracy. There for one person one vote is imperative. Isn't that why the idiots pushing for new laws to fight almost non-existance voter fraud are screaming. So as far as i'm concerned once any court ordered punishment is finished the right to vote along with all the others should be returned automatically UNLESS the state can show BRD why not!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 25, 2012 3:16:16 AM

Voter fraud, that is the act of going into the voting booth and casting a fradulent vote, is essentially nonexistent. The new voting laws that have been passed in red states is the GOP's way of disenfranchising all those voters who voted for Obama in 2008. The majority of early voters voted for Obama.

Voting rights, unless the person was convicted of voter fraud, should never be in question [and I am not suggesting that the convicted should necessarily be allowed to vote while incarcerated]. I don't see anything wrong with prohibiting someone who was convicted of a violent crime from owning/possessing a gun. Otherwise, all we are doing is casting suspicion-less doubt upon someone just for the mere fact that they had been convicted of a felony.

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NACDL launches extraordinary new resource: on-line state-by-state "Restoration of Rights Database"

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