Chapter 6, § 630: Compensation of Appointed Counsel in Capital Cases
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
§ 630.10 Hourly Rates and Inapplicability of Compensation Maximums
§ 630.20 Adequate Compensation of Counsel
§ 630.30 Death Eligible Cases Where Death Penalty Is Not Sought
§ 630.40 Interim Payments to Counsel
§ 630.50 Timely Review of Vouchers
§ 630.60 Forms
Under 21 U.S.C. § 848(q)(10)(A), recodified in 18 U.S.C. § 3599(g)(1), the presiding judicial officer will set the hourly compensation at a rate not to exceed the following amounts, for appointed counsel in federal death penalty cases and federal capital habeas corpus proceedings commenced, and appellate proceedings in which an appeal was perfected, on or after April 24,1996:
|If services were performed between...||
The hourly rate maximum is...
|01/01/2021 to present||$197|
|01/01/2020 through 12/31/2020||$195|
|02/15/2019 through 12/31/2019||$190|
|03/23/2018 through 02/14/2019||$188|
|05/05/2017 through 03/22/2018||$185|
|01/01/2016 through 05/04/2017||$183|
|01/01/2015 through 12/31/2015||$181|
|03/01/2014 through 12/31/2014||$180|
|09/01/2013 through 02/28/2014||$163|
|01/01/2010 through 08/31/2013||$178|
|03/11/2009 through 12/31/2009||$175|
|01/01/2008 through 03/10/2009||$170|
|05/20/2007 through 12/31/2007||$166|
|01/01/2006 through 05/19/2007||$163|
|02/01/2005 through 12/31/2005||$160|
(b) Annual Increase in Hourly Rate Maximum
(1) Under 18 U.S.C. § 3599(g)(1), the Judicial Conference is authorized to increase annually the hourly rate maximum by an amount not to exceed the federal pay comparability raises given to federal employees.
(2) The Judicial Conference has determined that the hourly rate maximum will be adjusted automatically each year according to any federal pay comparability adjustment, contingent upon the availability of sufficient funds. See: JCUS-MAR 2002, pp. 13-14.
(3) Newly established rates will apply with respect to services performed on or after their effective dates.
There is neither a statutory case compensation maximum for appointed counsel nor provision for review and approval by the chief judge of the circuit of the case compensation amount in capital cases.
In the interest of justice and judicial and fiscal economy, and in furtherance of relevant statutory provisions regarding qualifications of counsel in capital cases (see: Guide, Vol 7A, § 620.60), presiding judicial officers are urged to compensate counsel at a rate and in an amount sufficient to cover appointed counsel's general office overhead and to ensure adequate compensation for representation provided.
If, following the appointment of counsel in a case in which a defendant was charged with an offense that may be punishable by death, it is determined that the death penalty will not be sought, the court should consider the questions of the number of counsel and the rate of compensation needed for the duration of the proceeding.
(a) The court should, absent extenuating circumstances, make an appropriate reduction in the number of counsel.
(b) In deciding whether there are extenuating circumstances, the court should consider the following factors:
(1) the need to avoid disruption of the proceedings;
(2) whether the decision not to seek the death penalty occurred late in the litigation;
(3) whether the case is unusually complex; and
(4) any other factors that would interfere with the need to ensure effective representation of the defendant.
(a) The court should, absent extenuating circumstances, reduce the compensation rate.
(b) In determining whether there are extenuating circumstances, the court should consider the following factors:
(1) the extent to which this representation precludes counsel from taking other work;
(2) the commitment of time and resources counsel has made and will continue to make in the case; and
(3) the need to compensate appointed counsel fairly.
(c) Any reduction in the compensation rate will apply prospectively only.
It is urged that the court permit interim payment of compensation in capital cases. For information on interim payments to counsel in death penalty cases, see: § 230.73.20 and Appx 2D (Procedures for Interim Payments to Counsel in Death Penalty Cases).
Absent extraordinary circumstances, judges should act upon panel attorney compensation claims within 30 days of submission.
Claims for compensation and reimbursement of expenses for attorneys furnishing services in death penalty proceedings should be submitted on Form CJA 30 (Death Penalty Proceedings: Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Counsel).
Appx 6A Recommendations Concerning the Cost and Quality of Defense Representation (Updated Spencer Report, September 2010) (pdf)
Last substantive revision (Transmittal 07-012) May 21, 2019
Last revised (rate increases and minor technical changes) February 25, 2021