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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222312 Find in a Library
Title: Public Versus Private Defense: Can Money Buy Justice?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:36  Issue:1  Dated:March/April 2008  Pages:43-49
Author(s): Arye Rattner; Hagit Turjeman; Gideon Fishman
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the extent to which a private or public defense affected the outcome of the legal process in Israel.
Abstract: Findings indicated that the decisions to convict and to impose a prison sentence in Israel were based on different considerations. At the conviction stage, the crucial factors were the evidence and the prognosis for rehabilitation, the latter reflected in the importance of the probation officer’s report and the defendant’s past record of convictions. At the sentencing stage, the determining factors were the severity of the offense, the presence of witnesses, and the availability of forensic evidence. The findings also revealed a tendency for harsher punishments to be handed out after 1995. Regarding public versus private legal defense, at the conviction stage, the chances for a conviction were almost the same for each type of defense. Only in the best-case scenario was there a clear difference in favor of private defense. In the best-case scenario, all variables acted in favor of the defendant, such as if the defendant had no prior convictions, there was no probation report, there were no prosecution witnesses, and the defense was able to bring witnesses of its own. For convicted felons, the probability of receiving a prison sentence was significantly affected by the type of legal defense. Except in the worst-case scenario, in which the probability of receiving a prison sentence was equally hard for both modes of defense, a private attorney offered a compelling advantage for each of the other profiles. The data further showed that if the victim was Jewish, the probability of conviction was lower in the case of public defense, but that the nationality of the offender was of no consequence. When a prison sentence was imposed, the nationality of the offender played a direct role only in the case of private legal defense. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign judicial systems; Foreign sentencing
Index Term(s): Conviction rates; Defense services; Israel; Probation or parole records; Rehabilitation
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