Page 31 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 In the ABA’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System,30 indepen- dence is the first principle. Professor Norman Leftstein,31 Dean Emeritus of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and someone who has studied public defense systems for decades, reminded the Committee that “[I]t is the first principle for a reason: unless you have independence, the other princi- ples vital for genuinely successful public defense programs are usually difficult to achieve.”32 Professor Lefstein also highlighted a 2009 report from the National Right to Counsel Committee that urged states to “establish a statewide independent non-partisan agency headed by a board or commission responsible for all compo- nents of indigent defense services.”33 While the recommendation was addressed to states, its reasoning applies to the federal system as well. As Professor Lefstein said,
It is exceedingly difficult for defense counsel always to be vigorous advo- cates on behalf of their indigent clients when their appointment, com- pensation, resources, and continued employment depend primarily upon satisfying judges or other elected officials. At a minimum, judicial over- sight of the defense function creates serious problems of perception and opportunities for abuse.
What is needed are defense systems in which the integrity of the attorney-client relationship is safeguarded and defense lawyers for the indi- gent are just as independent as retained counsel, judges, and prosecutors.34
In its own study of the Criminal Justice Act program in the fall of 2015, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) listed “seven funda- mentals of a robust federal indigent delivery system.” The first fundamental called for independence, since “control over federal indigent defense services must be insulated from judicial interference.”35 A new structure under independent administration could incorporate the sixth fundamental on NACDL’s list: “greater transparency.”36
In written testimony to the Committee, William Leahy, Director of the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services and former Chief Counsel of the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, described judicial con- trol and management of the defense function as “relics of a bygone age; perhaps
30 ABATenPrinciplesOfAPublicDefenseDeliverySystem(Feb.2002),availableat ls_sclaid_def_tenprinciplesbooklet.authcheckdam.pdf (last visited April 26, 2017).
31 NormLefstein,Prof.ofLaw&DeanEmeritus,RobertH.McKinneySch.ofLaw,Ind.Univ.,Public Hearing — Minneapolis, Minn., Panel 3, Writ. Test., at 2–3.
32 Id.
33 Id.at4(quotingJusticeDeniedat186).
34 Id.
35 Nat’lAss’nofCriminalDef.Lawyers(NACDL),FederalIndigentDefense2015:TheIndependence Imperative 9 (2015) available at [hereinafter NACDL Report].
36 WilliamLeahy,Director,N.Y.StateOfficeofIndigentServ.,PublicHearing–Minneapolis,Minn., Panel 1, Writ. Test., at 4.
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 xxix
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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