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Federal indigent defense on appeal: The First Circuit’s experience
By Peter B. Krupp, David Beneman
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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