SAGE Journal Articles
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Journal Article 1: Harvey, T. B., Rosenfeld, J. H., & Tomascak, S. (2017). Right to counsel in misdemeanor prosecutions after Alabama v. Shelton: No-lawyer-courts and their consequences on the poor and communities of color in St. Louis. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29, 688–709.
Abstract: Under U.S. Supreme Court cases Argersinger v. Hamlin and Alabama v. Shelton, the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires the provision of defense counsel to an indigent defendant for any charge that, if proved, actually leads to imprisonment or is punished by a suspended sentence that subsequently could lead to imprisonment. This article uses St. Louis as a case study to demonstrate that unconstitutional criminal procedures and underfunded public defender’s offices create no-lawyer-courts—courts that unconstitutionally allow defendants to go unrepresented. In a period of observation spanning 2014-2016, we found that St. Louis courts violated the right to counsel in misdemeanor prosecutions through lengthy confinements and exorbitant bonds, abusive plea bargaining practices, invalid waivers, and unconstitutional sentences. Drawing from court observations and electronic data, this study highlights how constitutional doctrine’s grant of procedural discretion to lower courts imposes injustice on poor and minority communities in practice.
Abstract: The Supreme Court of the United States held in Indiana v. Edwards (2008) that states may limit the self-representation rights of criminal defendants with mental illness when such persons are incapable of acting effectively as their own counsel. This article—the first of two by the authors on this topic—reviews the ramifications of the Edwards decision in terms of the fate of criminal defendants who are allowed to represent themselves in court, and substantiates the need to develop operational schemata that courts, attorneys, and forensic mental health experts can utilize in assessing relevant competencies.
Abstract: In its 2010 term, the U.S. Supreme Court elaborated on law enforcement procedures in their decision of Michigan v. Bryant (2011) by analyzing the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause regarding statements obtained by police officers during an initial investigation. The court examined the statement of a mortally wounded victim who, before dying, identified the shooter as well as the location of the shooting. In a 6-2 decision the court held that a statement given to police by a wounded crime victim identifying the person who shot him may be admitted as evidence at the trial if the victim dies before trial and thus does not appear. Because the primary purpose of the interrogation was to enable police to deal with an ongoing emergency, the statements resulting from that interrogation were nontestimonial and could be admitted without violating the Confrontation Clause.