Page 56 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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BACKGROUND
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R E P O R T
O F
T H E
serious consequences for defendants in the ad hoc system: Lacking resources to challenge the government’s charges, the vast majority of defendants were advised
to plead guilty. For those who ignored this advice, going to trial without an attorney skilled and equipped to provide a vigorous defense proved “devastating.”43 The com- mittee called upon the Department of Justice to support legislation that would allow each federal district court to craft a plan for providing adequate representation and addressing local needs and circumstances. The Allen Report extolled the newly cre- ated independent legal aid office in the District of Columbia as a model and advo- cated for the end of pro bono representation:
The notion that the defense of accused persons can fairly or safely be left to uncompensated attorneys reveals the fundamental misconception that the representation of financially deprived defendants is essentially a char- itable concern. On the contrary, it is a public concern of high importance. A system of adequate representation, therefore, should be structured and financed in a manner reflecting its public importance.44
Attorney General Kennedy delivered the report to Congress on March 6, 1963. The Report urged the prompt enactment of legislation to ensure that people accused of crimes in federal court receive the kind of defense guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment. As part of future legislation, the report urged changing the definition of eligible defendants from “indigent” to persons “financially unable to obtain ade- quate representation,” and recommended that compensation be provided to attor- neys and for any ancillary services essential to the defense, including investigatory services, use of experts, preparation of transcripts, etc.
2.3 The Criminal Justice Act
President John F. Kennedy gave his final State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 14, 1963. In it, he called for the protection of the right to counsel regardless of a defendant’s financial position.45 That same year, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy warned the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on the Judiciary about the consequences of refusing to act to ensure the right to counsel. Citing U.S. v. Germany,46 where the court found that the gov- ernment’s refusal to pay expenses for assigned counsel to interview witnesses or view the alleged crime scene violated the Sixth Amendment, he warned, “There
43 AllenReportat26.
44 AllenReportat42.
45 “TherighttocompetentcounselmustbeassuredtoeverymanaccusedofcrimeinFederalcourt, regardless of his means.” Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, January 14, 1963.
46 UnitedStatesv.Germany,32F.R.D.343,344(M.D.Ala.1963).
No recommendation presented herein represents 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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