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Criminal Procedure

Selected Works

2019

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Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

Attorney Competence In An Age Of Plea Bargaining And Econometrics, Jeffrey Bellin Sep 2019

Attorney Competence In An Age Of Plea Bargaining And Econometrics, Jeffrey Bellin

Jeffrey Bellin

This Essay explores the concept of attorney competence in a criminal justice system dominated by plea bargaining. It focuses, in particular, on the results of a widely-reported empirical study of Philadelphia murder cases that found “vast” differences in legal outcomes based on the type of defense attorney assigned to the case. The first part of the Essay explores the implications of these empirical findings, which appear to stem from a counter-intuitive form of professional competence, persistence in convincing one’s client to plead guilty. The findings are particularly intriguing in light of the Supreme Court’s recent expansion of ineffective ...