Chapter 6, § 610: Overview
Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol 7 Defender Services, Part A Guidelines for Administering the CJA and Related Statutes, Chapter 6: Federal Death Penalty and Capital Habeas Corpus Representations
(a) The appointment and compensation of counsel and the approval and payment of persons providing investigative, expert, and other services in federal capital cases is governed by 21 U.S.C. § 848(q), which was amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, and recodified as 18 U.S.C. § 3599.
(b) The pertinent provisions of the AEDPA are applicable to capital cases commenced, and appellate proceedings in which an appeal is perfected, on or after the date of enactment of the AEDPA (April 24, 1996).
(c) This chapter retains guidelines applicable to cases that pre-date the AEDPA, and adds, where appropriate, guidelines for cases subject to the AEDPA.
(d) Unless otherwise specified, provisions in this chapter apply to all capital cases.
Detailed recommendations on the appointment and compensation of counsel in federal death penalty cases were adopted by the Judicial Conference, upon recommendation of the Defender Services Committee, on September 15, 1998 (JCUS-SEP 1998, pp. 67-74). The recommendations were contained in the May 1998 report entitled Federal Death Penalty Cases: Recommendations Concerning the Cost and Quality of Defense Representation (Spencer Report). The Defender Services Committee approved the initial Spencer report, including the commentary that accompanied the recommendations. In September 2010, following a comprehensive update of the report's contents, the Defender Services Committee endorsed revised commentary to the 1998 recommendations. The recommendations and the accompanying revised commentary are provided in Appx 6A (Recommendations Concerning the Cost and Quality of Defense Representation (Updated Spencer Report, September 2010)) of Part A of this volume. The updated 2010 report, which includes additional information, is available on the judiciary's public website.
Questions about the appointment and compensation of counsel and the approval and payment of investigative, expert, and other service providers in federal capital cases should be directed to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' (AO) Defender Services Office, Legal and Policy Division Duty Day Attorney, at 202-502-3030 or via email at DSO_LPD@ao.uscourts.gov.
Appx 6A Recommendations Concerning the Cost and Quality of Defense Representation (Updated Spencer Report, September 2010) (pdf)
Last revised (Transmittal 07-014) January 5, 2022
Last revised (minor technical changes) December 29, 2022