Public Defense System
Historically, defense by a public defender has been considered equivalent to not being defended at all. Although earlier studies indicate that public defense results in high conviction rates, new studies indicate that the public defender system now provides defense comparable with a private attorney.
- Does the public defense system now provide representation equitable to that by private attorneys? If so, what accounts for this improvement?
In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that in order to establish ineffectiveness of counsel, a defendant must prove that two constitutional standards were violated. Discuss what these two standards are and how they establish ineffectiveness of counsel.
The Supreme Court has clearly stated that prosecutors cannot make a peremptory challenge based on race or sex when selecting jurors.
- How significant is this practice in the overall analysis of discrimination?
- Does this still happen in jury selection, and if so, should this practice be stopped? Why?
- Analyze and describe the concept of jury nullification. Is jury nullification sometimes justifiable? When?
Discuss how a person is selected to become a potential juror and placed in the jury pool. Are potential jurors selected from voter registration rolls, driver’s license databases, or other databases? Does the choice to select potential jurors from a database automatically mean that certain segments of the population will not be represented on juries? If so, which populations and why? Are there any burdens associated with being a juror, if so, please list them.