The Champion

July 2003 , Page 45 

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Federal indigent defense on appeal: The First Circuit’s experience

By Peter B. Krupp, David Beneman

Read more Indigent Defense columns.

Judges and defense lawyers have paid considerable attention over the last 15 years to improving the quality of representation in the United States District Courts under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. A federal or community defender now exists or resource counsel has been appointed in virtually every judicial district in the country.1 Panels have been set up in many districts to screen applicants for inclusion on the district court CJA lists. There has been a recent emphasis on improving the quality of educational opportunities offered to CJA panel members at the district court level. To be sure, much more can be done, but significant progress has been made.  

One area that has received less attention is the appointment of qualified CJA counsel on appeal. This article arises out of our work with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to improve the quality of appellate representation for indigent defendants. After a year of studying “bes

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