SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Turner, K. B., & Johnson, J. B. (2007). The relationship between type of attorney and bail amount set for Hispanic defendants. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences29, 384–400.

Abstract: This research empirically examines the difference that type of counsel, public or private, makes in the bail amount set for Hispanic defendants. Data were collected on all felony defendants assigned to the district court in a midwestern county. Specifically, the authors hypothesized that Hispanic defendants who retain the assistance of private counsel will receive lower bail amounts than defendants assigned a court-appointed attorney. Several independent controls were employed including the legal variables—offense seriousness and prior arrests—and the extralegal variables—sex, age, and residency. These data were analyzed using ordinary least squares multiple regression. The analyses show that although Hispanic defendants utilizing private counsel receive lower bail amounts than defendants assigned a court-appointed attorney, only the variables age, residency, and offense seriousness significantly affect bail amount set.

Journal Article 2: Armstrong, G. S., & Kim, B. (2011). Juvenile penalties for “lawyering up”: The role of counsel and extralegal case characteristics. Crime & Delinquency57, 827–848.

Abstract: The presence of counsel for juveniles in the courtroom seems advantageous from a due process perspective, yet some studies suggest that juveniles receive harsher dispositions when represented by an attorney. This study tested whether a “counsel penalty” existed regardless of attorney type and, guided by prior sentencing literature, used a more comprehensive model to determine the influence of extralegal and contextual factors that may amplify the counsel penalty. Utilizing official data from a Northeastern state in a multilevel modeling strategy, this study found that regardless of the type of counsel retained, harsher sentences were received as compared with cases in which a juvenile was not represented by counsel even after controlling for offense type. Moreover, minority youth with public defenders and males with private counsel received harsher sentences while community characteristics did not appear to have a significant influence on sentencing decisions.