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Committee ultimately recommended what the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chief Justice Burger had believed would be necessary to fulfill the CJA’s mission “of a strong, independent office to administer the federal defender program.”57 While the Judicial Conference took up many of the Prado Committee’s recommendations, the Conference rejected the call for independence.58
2.5 How Things Have Changed Since the Passage of the Criminal Justice Act
In 1964, when Congress first passed the CJA, the landscape of criminal justice at the federal level looked considerably different. Criminal jurisdiction was extremely limited.59 Because there were a “comparatively small number of criminal cases”
in federal courts—only a third of which would be eligible for services under the CJA—Congress initially thought the program would be “both manageable and rela- tively inexpensive.”60 During debate over the bill, a congressman stated his assump- tions about the expected cost:
Now, if we assume that each attorney would spend one hour in his
office and one hour on each of these cases, the $25 fee would amount
to $250,000 a year. Of course, in a complicated felony case, the time expended and the cost involved might be substantially greater than the average, especially if appeals are involved. However, it is equally true that in many cases, if not most cases, less than an hour of courtroom practice and less than $15 in fees may be involved.61
Initially, the program proved less costly than expected. However, the program and its cost began to grow rapidly. The number of appointments increased. And
by the time of the Oaks Report in 1969, the cost per case had risen to $125.62 These same trends continued in the years to come. Along with growth in federal crimi- nal jurisdiction, there was an increase in the complexity of individual cases, and a significant rise in the percentage of defendants who required appointed counsel. By
57 PradoReportat9–10,quotingSenateReportNo.91–790,91stCong.2dSess.April23,1970,at18.
58 Rep.oftheJudicialConf.oftheUnitedStatesontheFederalDefenderProgram3,submittedbythe Federal Judiciary to Cong. pursuant to Sec. 318 of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101–650 (1993) [hereinafter JCUS Report 1993].
59 TheWallStreetJournal,August18,1964,p.10,col3–4;JohnJ.Haugh,TheFederalCriminalJustice Act of 1964: Catalyst in the Continuing Formulation of the Rights of the Criminal Defendant, N.D. Law Rev (1965) Vol. 41 Issue 6 Art. 11, at 1005, n.68.
60 JohnJ.Haugh,TheFederalCriminalJusticeActof1964:CatalystintheContinuingFormulationof the Rights of the Criminal Defendant, N.D. Law Rev (1965) Vol. 41 Issue 6 Art. 11 at 1004.
61 44NebLRev703,fn55pg720;StatementofCongressmanPoff,110Cong.Rec.447(1964). 62 OaksReport,RomanL.Hruska,PrefacetoOaksReport,atIII(1968).
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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