Criminal Justice Act Hearings to Be Aired Online

scales-of-justice-glass-effectOne of the most significant pieces of legislation concerning the federal criminal justice system, the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, secures the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel for federal criminal defendants.  Enacted in 1964, the CJA provides funding for the representation of individuals with limited financial resources in federal criminal proceedings. In each federal district, a plan exists for providing representation through private panel attorneys and, where established, federal public or community defender offices.

The Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act is charged with conducting a comprehensive and impartial review of the CJA program.  The Committee will take a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and invites participation from all stakeholders to accomplish this important task. The Committee is composed of federal judges, defense attorneys, a federal court employee, a former federal prosecutor, and a law professor. It is chaired by Judge Kathleen Cardone, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The first of a series of public hearings, conducted as part of a comprehensive and impartial review of the Criminal Justice Act, will take place November 16-17, 2015, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and can be seen live via online video.

The hearings will be held in the State Capitol Building, from 1:15-5:30 p.m. on November 16 and 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on November 17. Live video, and further information about the review process, is available at  

Over the next several months, additional hearings will be held in Miami; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Birmingham, Ala.; Philadelphia; and Minneapolis.

The Committee also welcomes written comments by email, at . Comments also can be mailed to:

CJA Study Committee
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, Suite 4-210
One Columbus Circle N.E.
Washington, DC 20544.

Comments may be submitted anonymously, by requesting that identifying information be concealed.

For more information about this study check out the FAQ section of the Committee’s webpage.


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