The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Koch Industries gives grant to NACDL "to address the nation's profound indigent defense crisis"


You hear a lot about the Koch brothers these days, but this press release from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers cuts against the usual narrative:

Washington, DC (Oct. 21, 2014)—The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the nation's preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing, has been selected by Koch Industries, Inc. to receive a major grant in support of NACDL's efforts to address the nation's profound indigent defense crisis.

There are two components to this generous and critical initiative:

* Significant expansion of access to training through an ambitious combination of scholarship support for indigent defenders, web-based training via the Internet, and targeted on-site training for indigent defense providers who lack adequate resources to provide comprehensive continuing education for line attorneys and supervisors.

* Examination of state level indigent defense delivery systems in order to ascertain strengths that can be replicated elsewhere as well as weaknesses and the ways in which those can be rectified.

. . .

NACDL President Theodore Simon said: "This funding will significantly enhance NACDL's ever-vigilant, ongoing efforts and capacity to elevate the caliber of representation available to those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer when they face criminal charges. No one—regardless of financial means—who faces a criminal prosecution, should be deprived of the guiding hand of experienced counsel. This grant from Koch brings us closer to the day when that goal will be a reality. It is an important step to fulfill the promise of Gideon, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for the indigent."
. . .

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Industries, Inc., Charles G. Koch said: "I am proud that Koch Industries is a part of this worthy project. All of my life, I have supported and championed the Bill of Rights, which is the bedrock upon which our free society was built. We are supportive of the NACDL's efforts to make the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of an individual's right to counsel a reality for all Americans, especially those who are the most disadvantaged in our society."

According to Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Koch Industries, Inc., Mark V. Holden, "We unconditionally support the Bill of Rights, which is the blueprint for our free society, and the rule of law. As a result, we support NACDL and criminal defense lawyers because the Sixth Amendment specifically identifies criminal defense lawyers as a right and necessity for individuals accused of crimes. With this initiative, we hope to strengthen the Sixth Amendment and protect the freedom and rights of all Americans, including those who are most negatively impacted by lack of access to a competent defense lawyer."

Koch Industries has been involved with and supportive of NACDL's efforts for more than a decade. In 2011, Holden received the Association's Defender of Justice Leadership Award on behalf of Koch Industries in recognition of his and the company's ongoing support of NACDL's mission.

Expected headline from committed opponents: "Koch Brothers Support Murderers and Rapists in New Initiative."

Thanks to Radley Balko for the link.