Page 294 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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No recommendation presented herein represents 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.
considerable disruption in the current delivery of public defense services.
And while the Committee acknowledges the success of the Public Defender
Service of D.C., the District of Columbia itself already occupies a unique space within the nation at large; it is less of an aberration that such an office for the District exists outside the traditional three branches of the national government. Additionally, the office is smaller and can focus on local issues and needs, and does not require a nationwide network or the greater support necessary to run a national program.
14.2 Within the Executive Branch
Some witnesses have suggested, as exemplified in a bill proposed by Representative Ted Deutsch in June of 2016,1120 that the Committee recommend placing the fed- eral defender program within the Executive Branch. Congressman Deutsch recom- mended this agency be run by a commission of twelve members appointed by the president.1121 None of these commissioners could be prosecutors or judges, and a majority would be former public defenders.1122
Such a model would resolve the conflict that has emerged between defenders and the judiciary due to the program’s poor fit in the current structure. Additionally, it would allow for the creation of a mechanism whereby funding for the defenders could be tied to funding for prosecutions by the Department of Justice.
However, as this Committee has learned, a host of questions and conflicts would remain. Per the Deutsch bill specifically, local judicial control of CJA panel attorneys would seemingly remain in place. The bill creates independence at a national level but not at the local level, where the lack of independence affects indi- vidual defendants, their attorneys, and the integrity of our adversarial criminal jus- tice system the most. While the Deutsch bill champions independence, the recom- mended structure could allow for continued or even greater judicial control outside of the national agency.
Placing defenders in the same branch that also prosecutes could create an actual or perceived conflict of interest. The Committee heard about such models currently in use from representatives of the military defender offices. The military branches have a similar structure, with both prosecution and defense offices report- ing to the same higher office, but the control exercised over independent judgment and a lack of resources is a continuing problem for the defense.1123
Finally, this model could be equally as costly and as disruptive to defense delivery as the previous model.
1123 See Public Hearing — Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 5: Views from the Military.

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