Tag: public defenders

A Public Defender Efficacy Study

The results of a study of Denver's felony criminal convictions have been published. Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman explains in a New York Times op-ed today, Free-Market Justice.

When two economists from Emory University, Paul Rubin and Joanna Shepherd, agreed last year to collaborate with me on an econometric study of how effective public defenders really are, I had to guard against confirmation bias. I was positive that public defenders would prove more effective than their private counterparts. Mr. Rubin and Ms. Shepherd, with their occupational faith in markets, were equally positive of just the opposite. In the end, the economists were right, though with an interesting twist. (The full study has been published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.)

....The results were surprising. The average sentence for clients of public defenders was almost three years longer than the average for clients of private lawyers.

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