An Analysis Of The Performance Of Federal Indigent Defense Counsel
The right to an equal and fair trial regardless of wealth is a hallmark of American jurisprudence. To ensure this right, the government pays attorneys to represent financially needy clients. In the U.S. federal court system, indigent defendants are represented by either public defender who is salaried employees of the court or private attorneys, known as Criminal Justice Act (CJA) attorneys, who are compensated on an hourly basis. This paper measures differences in performance of these types of attorneys and explores some potential causes for these differences.