Page 29 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 29

 only possible, it is necessary to continue progress toward a day when every crimi- nal defendant in federal court has a skilled, independent, and properly resourced advocate.
This Committee’s recommendations have important historical precedent. The first and only other comprehensive review of the Criminal Justice Act concluded
in 1993 that the federal defense program required greater administrative indepen- dence. Under the leadership of Judge Edward C. Prado, who also serves on this Committee, the “Prado Report” recommended that the Criminal Justice Act be amended to create a “Center for Federal Criminal Defense Services” responsible for the administration of the Criminal Justice Act program.24 As the Prado Report stated:
A public defender system, whether staffed by institutional defenders, part-time panel attorneys, or a combination of both, is not effective simply because no one goes unrepresented. Such a system is effective when it ensures that each defendant has an independent, competent, and vigor- ous advocate, dedicated solely to the interest of the individual client and free from any improper personal or institutional conflicts of interest.25
The Judicial Conference did not act on this core recommendation in the Prado Report. Given widespread voucher cutting, arbitrary staffing caps on defender offices, court influence over some defender offices, budgeting decisions by the Judicial Conference in 2013 during sequestration, and other problems—coupled with dramatic growth in the number of indigent defendants prosecuted in federal court—the need for independence is even greater today than it was in 1993.
Growing Number of Indigent Defendants Prosecuted in Federal Court 300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
0
24 Comm.toReviewtheCriminalJusticeAct,Rep.oftheComm.toReviewtheCriminalJusticeAct, 75 (1993) [hereinafter Prado Report]. (A committee established by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist pursuant to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-650, 104 Stat. 5089. Judge Edward C. Prado was selected as Chair. The Prado Committee’s report, issued in 1993, included several recommendations, including recommendations to enhance the independence of defense services in the federal criminal system.)
25 Id.at46.
The first and
only other comprehensive review of the Criminal Justice Act concluded in 1993 that the federal defense program required greater administrative independence.
                               1993 94 95 96 96 98 99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 08 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
 No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F 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 xxvii
States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 














































































   27   28   29   30   31