Inventory of the Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice Records

Processed by Kim Mitchell
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2012
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice Records

Record number: R398

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Kim Mitchell
Date Completed:
August 2012
Encoded by:
Cori Schmidtbauer
© 2012 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice Records
Dates: 2005-2008
Collection number: R398
Creator: Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice
Collection Size: 4 cubic feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The records of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (CCFAJ) consist of four cubic feet of textual records reflecting the Commission's research and recommendations on the state's administration of criminal justice. The records date from 2005-2008. The records are organized into five record series: Meeting Files, Commission Binders, Reports, Death Penalty Files, and Subject Files.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice Records, R398.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The State Archives received these records in a series of transfers according to state law.

Agency History

The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (CCFAJ) was established by Senate Resolution 44 (2003-2004, Burton). The duties of the Commission were to "study and review the administration of criminal justice to determine the extent to which that process has resulted in wrongful convictions or executions of innocent persons; to examine ways of providing safeguards and making improvements to the system; and to make recommendations designed to further ensure that the application and administration of criminal justice is just, fair, and accurate."
The Commission was to review existing research, meet regularly, solicit public comments, and hold public hearings. The Commission's recommendations to the Governor were originally mandated to be submitted by December 31, 2007; however, Senate Resolution 10 (2007-2008, Perata) extended the deadline to June 30, 2008. Reports created by the Commission may be found at the California State Library.
The Commission consisted of 25 members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The Chair was John K. Van De Kamp, the Vice-Chair was Jon Streeter, and the Executive Director was Gerald (Jerry) F. Uelmen.

Scope and Content

The records of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (CCFAJ) consist of four cubic feet of textual records reflecting the Commission's research and recommendations on the state's administration of criminal justice. The records date from 2005-2008. The records are organized into five record series: Meeting Files, Commission Binders, Reports, Death Penalty Files, and Subject Files.
The Meeting Files document commission meetings as well as hearings held by the Commission to solicit expert and public input. The other record series primarily consist of research materials on eight main themes: eyewitness identification, false confessions, testimony of informants, forensic evidence, defense incompetence, prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful conviction, and the death penalty.

Accruals

No further accruals expected

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice
California. Legislature. Senate. Rules Committee
Burton, John L., 1932-


Series Descriptions

R398.001 Box 1, folders 1-23.

Series 1 Meeting Files 2006-2008

Physical Description: 23 file folders

Arrangement

Meeting files are arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Meeting Files pertain to the meetings and public hearings held by the Commission between February 2006 and February 2008. These files may not comprehensively record every meeting held by the Commission. Files include agendas, minutes, memoranda, notes, correspondence, public testimony, focus group feedback, background information, draft Commission reports, news clippings, and articles. The hearings focused on the issues of the fair administration of the death penalty, wrongful conviction, and professional responsibility and accountability of prosecutors and defense lawyers.
R398.002 Box 1, folder 24-Box 2, folder 6.

Series 2 Commission Binders 2006-2007

Physical Description: 11 file folders

Arrangement

Commission Binders are arranged numerically by volume number.

Scope and Content Note

Commission Binders document the topical research compiled by Commission staff for use by Commissioners. The seven volume titles are: Eyewitness Identification, False Confessions, Testimony of Informants, Forensic Evidence, Defense Incompetence and Prosecutorial Misconduct, Remedies for Wrongful Conviction and Post Conviction Access to Testing, and Fair Administration of the Death Penalty. Files may contain reports, correspondence, background information, case studies, expert and legal opinions, articles, essays, statistics, and memoranda.
R398.003 Box 2, folders 7-31.

Series 3 Reports 2006-2008

Physical Description: 25 file folders

Arrangement

Reports are arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

The Reports series pertains to publications collected and used for research by the Commission. Reports include conference summaries, studies, guidelines and best practices, and publications by various organizations. Significant topics include wrongful conviction, death penalty, forensic evidence, exoneration, DNA testing, and incarceration costs. Notable organizations authoring these reports include the ACLU, various state Innocence Commissions, the Constitution Project, the American Bar Association, and the U.S. Department of Justice. While the dates of record-keeping for this series are from 2006 to 2008, the dates of creation are from 1989 to 2008.
R398.004 Box 3, folders 1-33.

Series 4 Death Penalty Files 2006-2008

Physical Description: 33 file folders

Arrangement

Death Penalty Files are arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

These files pertain to the research performed by the Commission exclusively regarding the death penalty. The files may include news clippings, reports, correspondence, testimony, studies, essays, articles, and memoranda. Significant topics include the role that the inmate's race and geographical region of residence play, incarceration costs, and death row inmate lists. These files also contain several reports of death penalty commissions of other states. While the dates of record-keeping for this series are from 2006 to 2008, the dates of creation are from 1979 to 2008.
R398.005 Box 3, folder 34-Box 4, folder 14

Series 5 Subject Files 2005-2008

Physical Description: 20 file folders, 28 dictabelts

Arrangement

Subject Files are arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

The Subject Files document a wide variety of topics of interest to the Commission. Files may contain publications, statistics, reports, correspondence, articles, testimony, background information, drafts of Commission reports, case studies, and memoranda. In addition to a draft final report by the Commission (the final report is absent from this record group), this series includes files on innocence commissions, electronic recording, the incorporation of the Commission, professional responsibility, eyewitness identification, and false confessions. While the dates of record-keeping for this series are from 2005 to 2008, the dates of creation are from 2000 to 2008.