SD11 - Indigent Defense Commission (Interim)

Executive Summary:
During the 2002 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, Senator Kenneth W. Stolle introduced Senate Joint Resolution 43 (SJ43)1 and Delegate Terry G. Kilgore introduced House Joint Resolution 94 (HJ94),2 directing the Virginia State Crime Commission to establish an indigent defense study committee to study and examine whether the establishment of a statewide indigent defense commission would improve the quality and efficiency of the .Commonwealth's indigent defense services. Specifically, the resolutions direct the committee to study various models of statewide indigent defense commissions as used by other states and recommend whether such a commission is appropriate for Virginia, and if so, recommend the organizational structure for such an agency. Additionally, the committee shall examine whether a statewide commission should be endowed with any or all of the following responsibilities: to determine the appropriate mechanism for delivering indigent defense services within a given jurisdiction; to set training and other quality control standards for indigent defense counsel; to fund and provide specialized training for indigent defense counsel; to set standards for attorneys to be appointed to represent indigent criminal defendants; to set caseload standards for indigent defense counsel; and, to oversee the Commonwealth's expenditure of funds paid to private indigent defense counsel and to expert witnesses. The Crime Commission must report its written findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 2004 Session of the General Assembly. As this is the interim report, no recommendations have been made at this time.