TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Sep 9, 2015

Judges have too much control over the federal public defense system, according to a new study by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The group recommends an overhaul of the government’s system for defending the poor. "There's some significant ways we feel the federal system is not measuring up — most importantly, in the area of independence," Bonnie Hoffman, a Virginia lawyer who led the study, said in a NPR report. The study said judges play a role in selecting defense lawyers for the poor and also have the ability to approve or reject the defense lawyers' fee requests.