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Notable Recent Publications - April, 2022

Notable Recent Publications features the latest empirical research and data related to indigent defense. Should you have suggestions, ideas for work that should be included, or trouble accessing any of the articles featured, please write to


Felice Batlan and Marianne Vasara-Aaltonen (eds.) Histories of Legal Aid: A Comparative and International Perspective. (Palgrave-Macmillan).

[From the website:] "This book focuses on the history of the provision of legal aid and legal assistance to the poor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in eight different countries. It is the first such book to bring together historical work on legal aid in a comparative perspective, and allows readers to analogise and contrast historical narratives about free legal aid across countries. Legal aid developed as a result of industrialisation, urbanization, immigration, the rise of philanthropy, and what were viewed as new legal problems. Closely related, was the growing professionalisation of lawyers and the question of what duties lawyers owed society to perform free work. Yet, legal aid providers in many countries included lay women and men, leading at times to tensions with the bar. Furthermore, legal aid often became deeply politicized, creating dramatic conflicts concerning the rights of the poor to have equal access to justice."

Stuti Kokkalera, In Defense of Juveniles Sentenced to Life: Legal Representation and Juvenile Criminal Justice. (Routledge).

[From the website:] "This book examines how attorneys enable a meaningful opportunity for parole release for individuals sentenced to life as juveniles. The work provides a detailed overview of how legal representation facilitates opportunities for release for juveniles sentenced to life: "juvenile lifers". It contributes to the broader literature on the importance of legal representation in the criminal legal system by investigating the role of an attorney in the parole process. Drawing on interviews with lawyers and qualitative content analyses of attorney participation in parole recordings from one state, the study illustrates how attorney assistance provides an important due process protection in the highly discretionary context of parole. The analysis of attorney representation is situated in the history of how they became prominent in the criminal legal system, and how their assistance has been viewed as vital in the parole process."


Allison Lynch, Michael Perlin & Heather Cucolo. '“My Bewildering Brain Toils in Vain”: Traumatic Brain Injury, The Criminal Trial Process, and the Case of Lisa Montgomery', 74 Rutgers Law Review, pp. 215-270.

[From the conclusion:] "Persons with TBI in the criminal justice system are at a serious disadvantage and are significantly at risk of being denied necessary constitutional and human rights. A lack of understanding on many fronts-including the basics of TBI, how it differs from the more-typically-seen mental illness, how it should be assessed, presented and effectively argued before a jury, and how clients with TBI can be assisted by TJ principles-contributes to poor outcomes for individuals with TBI facing serious charges. Lisa Montgomery's case is, sadly, not an exception."


Shamena Anwar, Shawn D. Bushway, John Engberg, The Impact of Defense Counsel at Bail Hearings. (RAND Corporation).

Roughly half of U.S. counties do not provide defense counsel at bail hearings and few studies have documented the potential impacts of legal representation at this stage. This paper presents the results from a field experiment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that provided a public defender at a defendant’s initial bail hearing. The presence of a public defender decreased the use of monetary bail and pretrial detention without increasing failure to appear rates at the preliminary hearing. The intervention did, however, result in a short-term increase in rearrests on theft charges, although a theft incident would have to be at least 8.3 times as costly as a day in detention for jurisdictions to find this tradeoff undesirable. 

The Impact of Discovery Reform Implementation in New York:Report of a Defense Attorney Survey. Conducted jointly by the Chief Defenders Association of New York, New York State Defenders Association, NYS Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services.

[From Executive Summary:] "To assess the impact of New York’s 2019 discovery law reforms on criminal defense practice and the fairness of criminal proceedings, [the authors] developed a survey for practicing criminal defense attorneys. On February 25, 2022, CDANY, NYSDA, and NYSACDL distributed the survey to their respective memberships... The survey was open until March 13, 2022, and during these two weeks, ILS received unique responses from 563 criminal defense attorneys.... The survey results below show that the vast majority of criminal defense attorneys believe that discovery reform has achieved the desired results and has positively impacted not only their ability to provide competent representation, but also the fairness of New York’s criminal justice system. The survey results also suggest the need for more research on compliance with CPL Article 245 because, as defense attorneys aptly noted in their survey responses, the benefits of CPL Article 245 can be fully realized only if there is compliance."


Stephanie Kanowitz. How a public defender’s office transformed client management into a people-centered solution. (GCN News)

The Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office worked with Salesforce to reverse engineer 100 years’ worth of case-centered data and processes.