Page 192 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 192

 FINDINGS
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R E P O R T
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of planning to blow up a federal building. One of the things that the government did was they did a three-dimensional reconstruction, and they had to provide me with the fees that were expended to this partic- ular engineering firm to do this project. It was 40 grand. By the same token, I was applying to the court to get, I think it was like $5,000, to get my own expert to take a look at the incendiary devices that were going to be used to see if, in fact, the amount of destruction was considered to be a mass destruction case. I was struck by the total inconsistency of the approach in that particular case.683
The Committee is concerned about both the perception and realization of unfairness and the legitimacy of outcomes in federal criminal proceedings when there are such clear disparities between the quality of representation and resources the government can bring to bear in a case, as compared to the resources a defen- dant without financial means can access.
Many witnesses emphasized that the uneven resource allocation in our adver- sarial system makes the entire system unfair. As one witness stated,
I submit that the argument for parity is so simple and so obvious it’s not hard to sell to the public or to funders....Why parity in resources? Because even a superior athlete is at a disadvantage if she has inferior equipment. While for an athlete it may just be the loss of competition, how can we disadvantage people who are facing decades of prison time and even death? If you want a quality system, a fair system, the panel system must be paid on a par with prosecutors, and it must have access to similar resources.684
Some CJA panel attorneys expressed deep frustration over the disparity. One panel attorney testified that in her district,
[I]f you look at the fact that 40 percent of the clients are being represented by appointed counsel, CJA counsel, that’s a good percentage of people who are getting funneled through the system and they are not getting access to the services that the federal defender has and they should
not be deprived of those services just by luck of the draw. Our federal defender is excellent; they are staffed with incredible attorneys. They have incredible resources and they do a great job and I think that there’s a consensus in Idaho that the CJA panel attorneys don’t match up to the federal defenders for obvious reasons.685
683 RobertLeBell,CJADist.Rep.,E.D.Wis.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel4,Tr.,at10.
684 JuliaLeighton,GeneralCounsel,PublicDefenderServiceforD.C.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis, Minn., Panel 1, Tr., at 3.
685 LoriNakaoka,CJAPanelAtty.,D.Idaho,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel5,Tr.,at7.
No recommendation presented herein represents T H E A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.




















































































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