« Refereeing, Timekeeping & Floyd v. NY | Main | The risk to catalyzed fans »

Friday, July 11, 2014

Over-Criminalization and Under-Funded Defense

Last year on this site, I initiated a petition to restore adequate funding for federal criminal defense.  That petition garnered signatures from over 200 law professors.  The state of affairs remains bleak.  My friend and former colleague, David Patton, head of the Federal Defenders of New York, testified today before the House Judiciary Committee’s Over-Criminalization Task Force.  Here is a link to his written statement1 and here are two excerpts:

 “My office . . . represents indigent federal defendants in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. . . . We have a total of 39 lawyers.  For those same two districts, there are approximately 300 federal prosecutors in the criminal divisions of the United States Attorney’s Offices.  That is a nearly 8 to 1 ratio even though we represent more than a third of all defendants.” (p.7)

“Last year my employees and I took 12 days of unpaid furloughs – more than two weeks of not being paid – pay that will never be recouped.  I was also forced to lay off several staff members and leave many positions vacant when others voluntarily left.  Our clients and the cause of justice suffered in ways that cannot be measured.” (p.7)

Posted by Fredrick Vars on July 11, 2014 at 03:23 PM | Permalink


Post a comment