Innocence Project – New Report on Indigent Defense Examines Philadelphia Homicide Verdicts

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 10, 2013

Via The Innocence Project Blog: “A new report funded by the National Institute of Justice titled, Measuring the Effect of Defense Counsel on Homicide Case Outcomes, examines the difference that a lawyer makes to the outcome of serious criminal cases in Philadelphia. Since April 1993, every fifth murder case in Philadelphia is sequentially assigned at the preliminary arraignment to the city’s Defender Association and the other four cases are assigned to appointed counsel. The study showed that compared to private appointed counsel, public defenders make an enormous difference in the outcome of cases by reducing the murder conviction rate by 19%, the probability that their clients receive a life sentence by 62% and overall expected time served in prison by 24%.”

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