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Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

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 ...


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 ...


Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien Apr 2007

Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien

Michigan Law Review

Professor Welsh S. White's book Litigating in the Shadow of Death: Defense Attorneys in Capital Cases collects the compelling stories of "a new band of dedicated lawyers" that has "vigorously represented capital defendants, seeking to prevent their executions" (p.3). Sadly, Professor White passed away on New Year's Eve, 2005, days before the release of his final work. To the well-deserved accolades of Professor White that were recently published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, I can only add a poignant comment in a student blog that captures his excellence as a scholar and educator: "I ...


Structural Reform In Criminal Defense: Relocating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Claims, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2007

Structural Reform In Criminal Defense: Relocating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Claims, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

This Article suggests a structural reform that could solve two different problems in criminal defense representation. The first problem is that the right to effective trial counsel lacks a meaningful remedy. Defendants are generally not permitted to raise ineffective assistance of counsel claims until collateral review. Given that collateral review typically occurs years after trial, most convicted defendants have completed their sentences by that time and therefore have little incentive to pursue ineffectiveness claims. Moreover, there is no right to counsel on collateral review, and it is unrealistic to expect defendants to navigate the complicated terrain of an ineffectiveness claim ...


A Deadly Dilemma: Choices By Attorneys Representing "Innocent" Capital Defendants, Welsh S. White Jan 2004

A Deadly Dilemma: Choices By Attorneys Representing "Innocent" Capital Defendants, Welsh S. White

Michigan Law Review

A lawyer who represents a capital defendant with a strong innocence claim must allocate her resources between the separate guilt and penalty phases of the capital case. Expending resources in preparation for a penalty trial may result in less attention to securing the acquittal on the capital charge at the guilt trial that would make the penalty phase moot. But focusing primarily on proving the defendant's innocence at the guilt trial means less preparation in the case of a guilty verdict. Once a defendant is convicted of a capital offense, a lawyer must also make strategic decisions about the ...


The Breath Of The Unfee'd Lawyer: Statutory Fee Limitations And Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel In Capital Litigation, Albert L. Vreeland Ii Dec 1991

The Breath Of The Unfee'd Lawyer: Statutory Fee Limitations And Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel In Capital Litigation, Albert L. Vreeland Ii

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that fee limitations deprive indigent defendants of their right to effective assistance of counsel. Part I of this Note reviews state court decisions that address Sixth Amendment challenges to fee limitations, yet fail to address the broader concerns about the appointed counsel system. Part II considers the inherent disincentives and burdens fee limitations impose on attorneys and suggests that the limits threaten the indigent accused's right to effective assistance of counsel. A comparison of the fee limitations and the time required to prepare and try a capital case reveals the gross inadequacy of statutory fee provisions ...