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University of Michigan Law School

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Public defenders

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Defense Counsel And Public Defence, Eve Brensike Primus Nov 2017

Defense Counsel And Public Defence, Eve Brensike Primus

Book Chapters

Public-defense delivery systems nationwide are grossly inadequate. Public defenders are forced to handle caseloads that no one could effectively manage. They often have no funding for investigation or expert assistance. They aren’t adequately trained, and there is little to no oversight of their work. In many jurisdictions, the public-defense function is not sufficiently independent of the judiciary or the elected branches to allow for zealous representation. The result is an assembly line into prison, mostly for poor people of color, with little check on the reliability or fairness of the process. Innocent people are convicted, precious resources are wasted ...


Bail Nullification, Jocelyn Simonson Mar 2017

Bail Nullification, Jocelyn Simonson

Michigan Law Review

This Article explores the possibility of community nullification beyond the jury by analyzing the growing and unstudied phenomenon of community bail funds, which post bail for strangers based on broader beliefs regarding the overuse of pretrial detention. When a community bail fund posts bail, it can serve the function of nullifying a judge’s determination that a certain amount of the defendant’s personal or family money was necessary to ensure public safety and prevent flight. This growing practice—what this Article calls “bail nullification”—is powerful because it exposes publicly what many within the system already know to be ...


Culture As A Structural Problem In Indigent Defense, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2016

Culture As A Structural Problem In Indigent Defense, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

In Part I, I will describe the ways in which today's right-to-counsel challenges are similar to and different from those that faced the writers of the 1961 symposium. I will also explain in more detail why the structural conditions of criminal defense work to create (and, to some extent, always have created) a cultural problem in indigent defense delivery systems across the country. In Part II, I will discuss why I believe that we are, once again, facing a moment for potential reform, albeit reform that is different in scope and kind from that which was possible in the ...


Speedy Trial As A Viable Challenge To Chronic Underfunding In Indigent-Defense Systems, Emily Rose Nov 2014

Speedy Trial As A Viable Challenge To Chronic Underfunding In Indigent-Defense Systems, Emily Rose

Michigan Law Review

Across the country, underresourced indigent-defense systems create delays in taking cases to trial at both the state and federal levels. Attempts to increase funding for indigent defense by bringing ineffective assistance of counsel claims have been thwarted by high procedural and substantive hurdles, and consequently these attempts have failed to bring significant change. This Note argues that, because ineffective assistance of counsel litigation is most likely a dead end for system-wide reform, indigent defenders should challenge the constitutionality of underfunding based on the Sixth Amendment guarantee of speedy trial. Existing speedy trial jurisprudence suggests that the overworking and furloughing of ...


Effective Trial Counsel After Martinez V. Ryan: Focusing On The Adequacy Of State Procedures, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2013

Effective Trial Counsel After Martinez V. Ryan: Focusing On The Adequacy Of State Procedures, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Everyone knows that excessive caseloads, poor funding, and a lack of training plague indigent defense delivery systems throughout the states, such that the promise of Gideon v. Wainwright is largely unfulfilled. Commentators have disagreed about how best to breathe life into Gideon . Many disclaim any possibility that federal habeas corpus review of state criminal cases could catalyze reform give n the many procedural obstacle s that currently prevent state prisoners from getting into federal court. But the Supreme Court has recently taken a renewed interest in using federal habeas review to address the problem of ineffective attorneys in state criminal ...


Agency And Equity: Why Do We Blame Clients For Their Lawyers' Mistakes, Adam Liptak Apr 2012

Agency And Equity: Why Do We Blame Clients For Their Lawyers' Mistakes, Adam Liptak

Michigan Law Review

If you were to ask a child whether it would be fair to execute a prisoner because his lawyer had made a mistake, the answer would be no. You might even get a look suggesting that you had asked a pretty stupid question. But judges treat the issue as a hard one, relying on a theory as casually accepted in criminal justice as it is offensive to principles of moral philosophy. This theory holds that the lawyer is the client's agent. What the agent does binds the principal. But clients and lawyers fit the agency model imperfectly. Agency law ...


Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2012

Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus

Reviews

Although misdemeanors comprise an overwhelming majority of state criminal court cases, little judicial and scholarly attention has been focused on how misdemeanor courts actually operate. In her article, Misdemeanors, Alexandra Natapoff rights this wrong and explains how the low-visibility, highly discretionary decisions made by actors at the misdemeanor level often result in rampant discrimination, incredible inefficiency, and vast miscarriages of justice. Misdemeanors makes a significant contribution to the literature by refocusing attention on the importance of misdemeanor offenses and beginning an important dialogue about what steps should be taken going forward to fix our broken misdemeanor justice system.


The Illusory Right To Counsel, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2011

The Illusory Right To Counsel, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Imagine a woman wrongly accused of murdering her fianc6. She is arrested and charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, she faces a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Her family scrapes together enough money to hire two attorneys to represent her at trial. There is no physical evidence connecting her to the murder, but the prosecution builds its case on circumstantial inferences. Her trial attorneys admit that they were so cocky and confident that she would be acquitted that they did not bother to investigate her case or file a single pre-trial motion. Rather, they waived the ...


The Public Defender, Robert R. Kimball May 1988

The Public Defender, Robert R. Kimball

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Public Defender by Lisa J. McIntyre