Page 69 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 69

 CJA program.83 Most central to the program’s mission is the Defender Services Committee, which oversees “the provision of legal representation to defendants in criminal cases who cannot afford an adequate defense.”84 The Executive Committee is the most powerful committee of JCUS, acting as “the senior executive arm of the Judicial Conference.”85 Because it “[p]repare[s] the discussion and consent calen- dars for meetings of the Judicial Conference;” the Executive Committee decides what topics and issues the entire Judicial Conference will address at each semi-an- nual meeting.86 The Committee on the Budget’s mission is “to assemble and present to Congress the budget for the judicial branch.”87 It determines what resources will be requested for indigent defense. Lastly, the Judicial Resources Committee deter- mines the staffing formulas governing federal defender offices. As discussed below, the fact that the majority of decision-making authority over the CJA program largely rests with Committees other than the Defender Services Committee leads to less informed and less effective administration of the program.
3.2.2 The Administrative Office and its Role in the Governance of Defender Services
JCUS also supervises the Director of the Administrative Office, and through the AO Director, the entirety of the judiciary’s administrative apparatus.88 The AO’s mission statement makes clear that the Office is dedicated to one entity: “The Administrative Office of the United States Courts supports, through excellence and innovation, the constitutional and statutory mission of the federal judiciary...”89 Among the AO offices that significantly affect the budget, policy, and governance of the defender program are the Defender Services Office, the Budget, Accounting, and Procurement Office (BAPO), the Office of General Counsel (OGC), and the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).90
The Defender Services Office’s mission is “to ensure that the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, the Criminal Justice Act, and other statutory
83 SeegenerallyAbouttheJudicialConference,U.S.Courts, courts/governance-judicial-conference/about-judicial-conference (last visited Oct. 5, 2017).
84 Id.
85 Id.
86 Id.
87 Id.
88 28U.S.C.§604(2012).
89 Therestofthemissionreads,“...toprovideequaljusticeunderthelawasanindependentand equal branch of government.” Given that defenders are positioned under our system of criminal justice to act in an adversarial role in relation to the prosecution of an individual by the government, the additional emphasis on the judiciary as a fundamental part of that government is another conflict of mission with the defense program. It should also be noted that the AO still has limited authority, as one witness pointed out during Committee hearings. “The AOUSC has little direct authority. If a judge does not want to follow the CJA’s dictates, let alone Judicial Conference policies, the AO cannot direct the judge to do so.” Steven G. Asin, Former Deputy Assistant Director, DSO, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 7, Tr., at 6.
90 SeeAppendixDforfulllistofacronyms.
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 25
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

   67   68   69   70   71