Justice for the Poor: A Study of Criminal Defence Work: A Study of Criminal Defence Work

1st Edition

Debra S. Emmelman

Routledge
Published December 14, 2017
Reference - 166 Pages
ISBN 9781138714748 - CAT# Y324894
Series: Routledge Revivals

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Summary

This title was first published in 2003. In this study, the author examines the behavior of one group of court-appointed defence attorneys and reaches the conclusion that although, in contrast to popular opinion, these attorneys maintain an adversarial stance against the prosecutors and behave in a legally ethical (or "procedurally just") manner, case outcomes are unduly shaped by social class and are therefore substantively unjust. This occurs because poor defendants typically lack cultural rhetoric that favourably influences those who construct and operate the criminal court system. Ironically, this indicates that, in many cases, the process of plea bargaining may be more substantively just than trials. A major contribution of the study is the detailed analysis of the manner by which oppression and substantive injustice occur in the adjudication of many cases and how the cultural practices of the powerful can frequently misconstrue, exclude and mute the voices of the poor.

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