SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article #1: Watson, D. (2010). The attorney general’s guidelines on plea bargaining in serious fraud: Obtaining guilty pleas fairly? The Journal of Criminal Law, 74, 77–90.

Abstract: Fraud reform has recently culminated in the introduction of guidelines on plea bargaining issued by the Attorney General. In addition, it is likely that these guidelines will be complimented by new sentencing provisions from the Sentencing Guidelines Council to give a formal plea-bargaining model, which is hoped will increase conviction rates, process cases more expeditiously and reduce public expenditure for fraud prosecution. In addition, these guidelines have been complemented by new sentencing provisions from the Sentencing Guidelines Council to give a formal plea-bargaining model. This article will examine whether the new plea-bargaining model will deliver the transparent, efficient and effective system desired, whilst ensuring that those defendants who enter into plea bargains are free from improper pressure to plead guilty. Having been studied as part of the fraud reform process, the US Federal plea-bargaining model will be used as a barometer in this examination.

Journal Article #2: Williams, M. R. (2014). The effect of attorney type on bail decisions. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 28, 3–17.

Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that defendants are entitled to effective assistance of counsel. Despite this, many research studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that defense counsel, particularly appointed counsel, struggles to provide effective assistance, especially with regard to case outcomes. These studies suggest that having appointed counsel negatively affects case outcomes, such as conviction and sentencing, in that those with appointed counsel are more likely to be convicted and/or sentenced to longer incarceration terms. Previous research has largely ignored earlier stages of a case and the effect of type of counsel on these earlier case outcomes. The current study examines the effect of counsel—public defender versus retained—on bail decisions in Florida. Previous research has indicated that bail decisions have an effect on the outcome of a case, so the importance of bail decisions cannot be overlooked.