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February 23, 2010

"Hire A Lawyer, Escape the Death Penalty?"

The title of this post is the title of a new Issue Brief authored by Scott Phillips coming from the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. This new paper on the administration of the death penalty is available at this link, where it is summarized this way:

In this Issue Brief, Professor Phillips describes the results of his study to test the claim made by death penalty opponents that wealthy defendants who hire legal counsel are exempt from capital punishment.  His research focuses on Houston, Texas, and surrounding Harris County, which is the county with the largest number of executions in the United States and the largest jurisdiction that uses court-appointed lawyers instead of a public defender to represent defendants who cannot afford an attorney.  Professor Phillips compares the outcomes in cases where the defendant hired a lawyer with cases where the defendant had a court-appointed lawyer and finds that, “[h]iring counsel for the entire case not only eliminates the chance of death, but also dramatically increases the chance of an acquittal.”  He also finds that “[h]iring counsel for a portion of the case substantially reduces the chance of death,” and “hiring counsel does not appear to be the province of the wealthy because virtually all capital defendants seem to be poor.”

Professor Phillips argues that these dramatic findings “are not an indictment of appointed attorneys, but rather an indictment of the structural deficiencies inherent in the appointment method of indigent defense.”  He discusses these deficiencies and reform efforts in Texas aimed at addressing them.  He believes that the reform efforts have not succeeded, however, and argues that “the solution is to create a public defender office with resources proportionate to the DA’s office.  Such a proposal is not meant to suggest that a public defender office would be a panacea.  But a public defender would reduce differential treatment and eliminate the structural deficiencies inherent in the appointment method.” He concludes by asserting that, “Houston’s distinction as the capital of capital punishment creates a special obligation to provide the most rigorous system of indigent defense possible.  The appointment method does not – and arguably cannot – meet such a standard.”

February 23, 2010 at 03:24 PM | Permalink

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I call this genocide of the poor.

Posted by: DLJ | Feb 23, 2010 7:31:45 PM

At the point of a gun, literally, the defendant must provide a lawyer a job or risk death. The trial is a Broadway production of competing fairy tales. The entire trial is a Scholasticist method, and a worthless investigative tool from the 13th Century. This medieval garbage method generates a massive, completely scandalous and unacceptable false verdict rate. It is so cumbersome and expensive it result in the fungible commodity method of the plea bargain, a method of investigation even more incompetent than the trial. Lawyer cult criminals intimidate innocent but easily bullied defendants into accepting false deals.

Beyond how much the trial and the plea deal suck in their accuracy, their illegality in a secular nation, there is the matter of the jury. These hapless strangers are dragooned off the streets. If they have any knowledge, they are excluded to further the effect of the competing fictions of the cult criminals on both sides. After they are enslaved, expelled for any knowledge, they must interrupt their lives for worthless controversies. They do not understand the lawyers speaking in gibberish. The buffoon on the bench reads standard instructions that even he cannot understand despite being an expert. The evidence for that is that his verdict will be overturned because of his faulty instructions and decision making.

How much can a profession suck, break the law of the land, defraud the public, and damage the lives of innocent persons and corporations before the public begins a course of violent self-help?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 23, 2010 10:02:20 PM

DEAR JOHN ROBERTS ~ GOD'S MANDATE WITH YOUR U.S. SUPREME COURT SHOULD NOT INCLUDE POSSIBLE FALSE EXECUTIONS OF POOR AMERICANS ??

TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU-JAMAL PLEASE REMEMBER ~ JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF ALSO HAD 2 DEAL WITH ......

OUR U.S.CONGRESS HAS DOCUMENTED OUR UNJUST AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND WE STILL HAVE CERTAIN AMERICANS EVEN TODAY WANTING TO RUN THE RISK OF EXECUTING EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT CITIZENS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REST OF US IN THE NAME OF THEIR SO CALLED JUSTICE.

GOD DOES NOT HAVE MANDATE WITH U.S. SUPREME COURT 2 CONTINUE ALLOWING POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TO BE INFLICTED ON OUR AMERICAN POOR !!!


**TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU ~JAMAL ~ ARE HAVING PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE SAID FOR THEM WORLD~WIDE ..WE CAN ALL ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT EVERYONE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS THAT KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS HOW UNJUST OUR U.S JUDICIAL SYSTEM CAN BE WITH OUR POORER AMERICANS,BECOMES ACTIVE IN MAKING SURE THAT TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA AND MUMIA ABU~JAMAL OF PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVE FAIR AND JUST TRIALS BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TAKE PLACE.
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THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2009

The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 that I introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009 will create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom.

I believe that it is time to bring together the best minds in America to confer, report, and make concrete recommendations about how we can reform the process. This legislation has already garnered wide bipartisan support in Congress and from interest groups representing a range of backgrounds and political viewpoints.

Why We Urgently Need this Legislation: With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses 25% of the world's reported prisoners. Incarcerated drug offenders have soared 1200% since 1980. Four times as many mentally ill people are in prisons than in mental health hospitals. Approximately 1 million gang members reside in the U.S., many of them foreign-based; and Mexican cartels operate in 230+ communities across the country.

Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard and often nonexistent, undermining public safety and making it extremely difficult for ex-offenders to become full, contributing members of society. America's criminal justice system has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace. Its irregularities and inequities cut against the notion that we are a society founded on fundamental fairness. Our failure to address this problem has caused the nation's prisons to burst their seams with massive overcrowding, even as our neighborhoods have become more dangerous.

We are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing millions of lives. We need to fix the system. Doing so will require a major nationwide recalculation of who goes to prison and for how long and of how we address the long-term consequences of incarceration. MATERIALS & RESOURCES Read the legislation, S. 714 Fact sheet on the legislation Senator Webb's floor speech introducing the legislation PARADE Magazine cover story, "What's Wrong with our Prisons?" Senator Jim Webb,

Sunday March 29, 2009 The scope of the problem: relevant charts and graphs List of Support for the National Criminal Justice Commission Act Of 2009 Opening Statement of Sen. Webb at Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on National Criminal Justice Commission Act, June 11, 2009 Watch Senator Webb's Floor Speech Introducing the Legislation, March 26, 2009 Senator Webb's article on the Huffington Post, "Why We Must Reform Our Criminal Justice System" MATERIALS FROM PAST HEARINGS, SYMPOSIUMS Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?" October 2007 Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Illegal Drugs: Economic Impact, Societal Costs, and Policy Responses,"

June 2008 George Mason University Symposium, hosted by Senator Webb and the GMU Administration of Justice Department, "Drugs in America: Trafficking, Policy and Sentencing," October 2008 Senator Webb's Keynote Address to the Brookings Institution's Policy Roundtable on the Challenges to Prisoner Re-entry, December 2008 NEWS ARTICLES & COMMENTARY Virginian Pilot editorial: "Time to reconsider U.S. justice system," April 6, 2009 Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star: "Behind-bars review," April 5, 2009 The Washington Post Writers Group: "Webb Leads the Charge for Much-Needed Drug, Prison Reform," April 5, 2009 Economist: "A Nation of Jailbirds," April 2, 2009 Daily Press: "Go After the Real Problem," March 31, 2009 New York Times: "Reviewing Criminal Justice," March 30, 2009 Lynchburg News & Advance: "Webb Takes on Politics' Third Rail: Prison Reform," March 29, 2009 Salon.com: "Jim Webb's courage v. the "pragmatism" excuse for politicians," March 28, 2009 The Virginian Pilot Editorial:

"Time to Rethink Goals of Prison," January 5, 2009 Roanoke Times Editorial: "The Criminal Justice System Needs Help," January 5, 2009 Las Vegas Sun Editorial: "Voice for Broken Prisons," January 3, 2009 U.S. News & World Report: "James Webb Shows Leadership Regarding Prison Reform," January 2, 2009 New York Times Editorial: "Sen. Webb's Call for Prison Reform," January 1, 2009 Washington Post: "Webb Sets His Sights On Prison Reform," December 29, 2008 Daily Press: "Alternative to Jail for Addicts Gains New Supporter," December 28, 2008 The Virginian Pilot: "Senator Elevates Debate on Failed Drug, Prison Policies," October 18, 2008 The Roanoke Times Editorial: "A Sensible Call for Sentencing Reform," October 13, 2008 Washington Post Op-Ed: "Two Separate Societies: One in Prison, One Not," April 15, 2008

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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A WWW VOLUNTEEER LOBBY THAT SINGS OUT FOR OUR MIDDLE~CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS. WE CAN BE FOUND WITH ANY SEARCH ENGINE BY OUR NAME OR TELELEPHONE NUMBER. (424-247-2013)

[email protected]

~ WE ENJOY BRINGING THE GOOD LIFE TO ALL OF America's little people ON THE WEB.

***MANY MORE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS ARE NOW HEARING THE TRUTH !!!

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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS COMPLETE FAITH THAT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS IS THE RIGHT MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR JUSTICE TO PREVAIL FOR ALL AMERICANS !

Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 24, 2010 6:16:29 PM

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