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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Petition: Save Federal Defender Services

[At the suggestion of a commenter on my last post, I offer this petition:]

Sequestration imperils the constitutional right of criminal defendants to adequate legal representation.  About 90% of federal criminal defendants require court-appointed counsel.  In FY 2013, sequestration resulted in a $52 million cut to Federal Defender Services, bringing massive layoffs and furloughs.  It is estimated that in FY 2014, if nothing is done, FDS will be forced to terminate as many as one-third to one-half of employees.

Funding for prosecutors is apparently headed in the opposite direction.  The Senate Appropriations Committee last week announced a $79 million increase to the FY 2014 budget for U.S. Attorneys’ offices for the express purpose of bringing more criminal cases in federal court.  This radical imbalance threatens the fundamental right to counsel.

Please join me in urging Congress and the President to restore adequate funding for Federal Defender Services. 

Update: Thanks to all for the strong support so far. Please send me an email (fvars@law.ua.edu) with your name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and city of residence. I will subsequently post a document with this petition and the names of signatories.

Fredrick Vars

Associate Professor, University of Alabama School of Law

Birmingham, Alabama

Posted by Fredrick Vars on July 24, 2013 at 01:38 PM in Constitutional thoughts, Criminal Law, Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Fredrick, please join me to this petition.

Posted by: Carol Steiker | Jul 24, 2013 2:09:05 PM

I heartily support this petition. This is a travesty and will only further unequal access to justice.

Posted by: Erica Zunkel | Jul 24, 2013 2:14:26 PM

Please add my name: Tigran Eldred, Associate Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston.

Posted by: Tigran Eldred | Jul 24, 2013 2:25:15 PM

Joseph Miller, Professor, University of Georgia Law School | Athens, GA

Posted by: Joe Miller | Jul 24, 2013 2:41:18 PM

Fred, please add me to the petition. And hope you're well!

Laura Appleman, Associate Professor of Law, Willamette University.

Posted by: Laura Appleman | Jul 24, 2013 2:54:02 PM

John Steele, Adjunct Lecturer, UC-Berkeley

Posted by: John Steele | Jul 24, 2013 3:09:15 PM

Zachary Norris, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. (former contract attorney, Federal Public Defender of Oregon)

Posted by: Zachary Norris | Jul 24, 2013 3:12:47 PM

Happy to add my name too.

Miriam Baer
Associate Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Posted by: Miriam Baer | Jul 24, 2013 3:27:09 PM

Heather Elliott, Associate Professor, The University of Alabama School of Law

Posted by: Heather Elliott | Jul 24, 2013 3:40:39 PM

And hey there, John Steele!

Posted by: Heather Elliott | Jul 24, 2013 3:40:55 PM

Please add my name too:

Greg Gilchrist
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Toledo College of Law

Posted by: Greg Gilchrist | Jul 24, 2013 3:54:59 PM

This is such an important cause.

Posted by: Sandra Guerra Thompson | Jul 24, 2013 4:26:46 PM

Brian Clarke
Assistant Professor of Law
Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte, NC
(a former FPD MDNC intern)

Posted by: Brian Clarke | Jul 24, 2013 4:27:54 PM

These cuts not only endanger well-established constitutional rights of defendants (and an institution with a well-deserved reputation for professionalism), but in the long run could cost the taxpayer more. Defendants will still be entitled to counsel, who will have to be appointed and paid--but instead of an efficient and trained public body, there will be a reduction in bang for the buck. That's irrational, by any standard.

Posted by: Laura Oren | Jul 24, 2013 4:40:12 PM

If this occurs, I can see a deluge of inadequate assistance of counsel proceedings.

Posted by: Peter Linzer | Jul 24, 2013 4:53:17 PM

Please add my name as well.

K. Babe Howell, Associate Professor, CUNY School of Law

Posted by: Babe Howell | Jul 24, 2013 5:17:05 PM

Please add my name -
Ellen S. Podgor
Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor
Stetson University College of Law

Posted by: Ellen S. Podgor | Jul 24, 2013 5:23:24 PM

Please add my name-Bryan Adamson

Posted by: Bryan Adamson | Jul 24, 2013 6:25:11 PM

Patrick S. O'Donnell
Department of Philosophy
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara, CA

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Jul 24, 2013 6:32:55 PM

I am happy to support this petition.

Ann C. McGinley
William S. Boyd Professor of Law
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law
Las Vegas, NV

Posted by: Ann McGinley | Jul 24, 2013 6:41:48 PM

Happy to join,

Brian Sheppard
Associate Professor
Seton Hall University School of Law

Posted by: Brian Sheppard | Jul 24, 2013 7:17:15 PM

I support it also.

Carlin Meyer
Prof. of Law
New York Law School

Posted by: Carlin Meyer | Jul 24, 2013 7:47:51 PM

The U.S. should never be so strapped that it cannot afford justice. I support the petition.

Posted by: Frank R. Herrmann | Jul 24, 2013 8:15:01 PM

Please add my name:
Cynthia Alkon
Associate Professor of Law
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Fort Worth, TX

Posted by: Cynthia Alkon | Jul 24, 2013 11:34:27 PM

Please add me to the petition:

Professor Virginia E. Hench
The W.S. Richardson School of Law
The University of Hawai`i at Manoa
2515 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822

Posted by: Virginia Hench | Jul 24, 2013 11:41:09 PM

I support it.

Gabriel J. Chin
Professor of Law, University of California, Davis, School of Law
Institutional affiliation listed for identification only.

Posted by: Jack Chin | Jul 25, 2013 12:04:08 AM

Please sign me on.

Juliet P. Stumpf
Professor of Law
Lewis & Clark Law School
Portland, OR

Posted by: Juliet P. Stumpf | Jul 25, 2013 1:25:07 AM

Please add my name.

Monroe H. Freedman
Professor of Law
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY

Posted by: Monroe Freedman | Jul 25, 2013 7:24:10 AM

Adjunct Professor at Charlotte School of Law, Charlotte, North Carolina

Posted by: James Gronquist | Jul 25, 2013 8:22:33 AM

Please add my name to the petition

James Gronquist
Adjunct Professor
Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte, NC

Posted by: James Gronquist | Jul 25, 2013 8:25:33 AM

Please add my name to this petition. The promise of Gideon v. Wainrwright must not be lost.

Joshua Dressler
Frank R. Strong Chair in Law
Michael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

Posted by: Joshua Dressler | Jul 25, 2013 8:27:56 AM

Please add my name.

Posted by: Pamela Metzger | Jul 25, 2013 8:38:10 AM

Thanks for starting this petition. I work with public defenders in crippled state court systems and serve on the Board of the Federal Defenders Program in Atlanta. The federal system has always served as a model for states that never respected Gideon. Sadly, now the federal system seems to be sending a very different message to states....that it values the right to counsel as little as these state systems.

Posted by: Jonathan Rapping | Jul 25, 2013 8:39:44 AM

Oh, and please add my name:

Jonathan Rapping
Associate Professor and Director, Honors Program in Criminal Justice
Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

Posted by: Jonathan Rapping | Jul 25, 2013 8:41:20 AM

Please add my name:
Sanford Greenberg, Professor of Legal Research and Writing, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL

Posted by: Sanford Greenberg | Jul 25, 2013 8:58:00 AM

Please add my name.

Michael J. Zydney Mannheimer
Professor of Law
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Northern Kentucky University

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Jul 25, 2013 8:59:51 AM

Please add my name:

Kimberly D. Bailey
Assistant Professor of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Posted by: Kimberly Bailey | Jul 25, 2013 9:02:42 AM

Thank you for doing this. Please add my name as well:

Cortney Lollar
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Kentucky College of Law

Posted by: Cortney Lollar | Jul 25, 2013 9:06:23 AM

Please add my name:
Susan D. Rozelle
Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law

Posted by: Susan D. Rozelle | Jul 25, 2013 9:13:29 AM

Please add my name
Mary Sue Backus
Professor of Law
University of Oklahoma

Posted by: Mary Sue Backus | Jul 25, 2013 9:13:42 AM

Please sign me up:

Michael L. Rich
Associate Professor of Law
Elon University School of Law
Greensboro, NC

Posted by: Michael Rich | Jul 25, 2013 9:28:43 AM

I support this petition.

Scott Bauries
Robert G. Lawson Associate Professor of Law
University of Kentucky

Posted by: Scott Bauries | Jul 25, 2013 9:31:56 AM

I fully support the return to full support for Federal Defender Services - fulfilling the promise of Gideon in the most cost-efficient manner.

Posted by: Margery Koosed, Professor Emeritus University of Akron School of Law | Jul 25, 2013 9:44:11 AM

As a Legal Aid attorney in an overburdened local public defense system, I enthusiastically support this petition.

Posted by: Kent Moston | Jul 25, 2013 9:58:20 AM

I entirely endorse the petition, which calls for funding that is not only needed to fulfill a constitutional mandate but also cost-effective.

http://ilc.fd.org/General%20Documents/FPD%20Fact%20Sheet%206%2025%202013.pdf

Prof. Eric M. Freedman | Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law |
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Posted by: Eric M. Freedman | Jul 25, 2013 10:01:15 AM

Please add my name:

Robert N. Strassfeld
Professor of Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Cleveland, OH.

Posted by: Bob Strassfeld | Jul 25, 2013 10:10:48 AM

Please add my name:

Robin Charlow
Professor of Law
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY

Posted by: Robin Charlow | Jul 25, 2013 10:15:57 AM

Please add my name:

Catherine M. Grosso
Associate Professor of Law
Michigan State University College of Law
East Lansing, MI

Posted by: Catherine Grosso | Jul 25, 2013 10:33:31 AM

Thank you for spearheading this important effort and please add my name.

Mary Berkheiser
Profesor of Law
Wm. S. Boyd School of Law
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

Posted by: Mary Berkheiser | Jul 25, 2013 10:41:24 AM

Please add my name:

Adam Gershowitz
Professor of Law
William & Mary Law School
Williamsburg, VA

Posted by: Adam Gershowitz | Jul 25, 2013 10:50:45 AM

Please add my name.
Prof. Darryl K. Brown
University of Virginia School of Law

Posted by: Darryl Brown | Jul 25, 2013 10:52:29 AM

Please add me to your petition. I work with Federal PD's in their capital habeas units all the time and they are some of the finest, most dedicated advocates around.
Michael J. Benza
Senior Instructor of Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Posted by: Michael Benza | Jul 25, 2013 10:54:24 AM

Please add my name; good luck!
Grace Lee
Associate Professor of Law in Residence
The University of Alabama School of Law
Tuscaloosa, AL

Posted by: Grace Lee | Jul 25, 2013 10:56:57 AM

Assistant Professor
Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra Univetsity
Hempstead, NY

Posted by: Kevin McElroy | Jul 25, 2013 11:05:17 AM

Please add my name.
Phyllis L. Crocker
Professor of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, Ohio

Posted by: Phyllis L. Crocker | Jul 25, 2013 11:05:56 AM

Please add my name to the petition.
Norman I. Silber

Professor of Law
Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11050

Senior Research Scholar
Yale Law School
New Haven, CT 06511

Posted by: Norman I. Silber | Jul 25, 2013 11:11:51 AM

Please add my name.

John H. Blume
Professor of Law
Cornell Law School
Ithaca, New York

Posted by: John Blume | Jul 25, 2013 11:13:21 AM

Professor Douglas A. Berman
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Posted by: Doug B. | Jul 25, 2013 11:16:22 AM

Please add my name in support of this petition.

Patricia Gray
Director of Research
Health Law & Policy Institute
University of Houston Law Center

Posted by: Patricia Gray | Jul 25, 2013 11:20:11 AM

Please add my name.

Prof. David Abraham
University of Miami School of Law
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Posted by: David Abraham | Jul 25, 2013 11:35:21 AM

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