Page 107 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 program had received “a lot of protection [from DSC and JCUS]....[M]ost of us felt that, in terms of funding, that we needed the judges to go to the Hill....we didn’t get that protection. In fact, we were actually competing with the judges, and the judges were going to win. That’s what’s changed my opinion about pulling all of it out from underneath the judiciary.”231 As of the writing of this report, many federal defender offices are still trying to recover from sequestration cuts in 2013. One defender testi- fied it was not just her office, but “all of us are invested in trying to staff up our office to recoup the losses from sequestration because we lost a lot of people.”232
Because of the unique circumstances of the CJA program, the defense com- munity could not prepare for sequestration in the way that some other offices or programs in the judiciary could. The program’s mission requires it to be respon-
sive to decisions made in a different branch of government. Simply put, unless the Department of Justice had stopped prosecuting or lessened its caseload in the lead up to sequestration, the CJA program could not take preventive budgetary measures without endangering the quality of representation. The former assistant director of DSO acknowledged that some within the AO blamed the CJA program for some of its steep cuts; he testified, “Yes, their complaint was that we weren’t taking radical cuts in anticipation that sequestration might happen.”233 However, he told the Committee:
We took the view that, as Congress had taken, that this is a constitutional mandate and you can have all the sequestration that you want, but when you’re going to arrest somebody and charge them with a crime, they’re entitled to a lawyer, not a sequestered lawyer. They’re entitled to ser- vices....We were asking for the amount of money that was needed to pro- vide the basic elements of a defense, not a Cadillac defense, not a Ford defense, a Sixth Amendment defense.234
Sequestration highlighted the conflict created by placing the defense pro- gram within the judiciary. The judiciary made decisions on CJA spending consid- ering the best interests of the judiciary—not those of the program. The CJA pro- gram could not, as an independent entity, make budgetary decisions that would preserve defenders’ ability to fulfill their duties and obligations to the defendants they represented. Surely, the Committee was told, there was “a really good ratio- nale why this made a lot of sense for the federal judiciary as a whole to take this approach. That may have made sense for them as a whole, but within that context, this program [CJA] gets hurt.”235
231 FrannyForsman,FormerFPD,D.Nev.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel4,Tr.,at11. 232 MaureenFranco,FPD,W.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel2,Writ.Test.,at15.
233 StevenG.Asin,FormerDeputyAssistantDirector,DSO,AdministrativeOfficeoftheUnitedStates Courts, Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 7, Tr., at 17.
234 Id.at17–18. 235 Id.at21.
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 63
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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