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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70214 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Interchange of Counsel in Criminal Cases - Final Report
Corporate Author: Studies in Justice, Inc
United States of America
Project Director: K J Hodson
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 53
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Studies in Justice, Inc
Topeka, KS 66612
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78DF-AX-0016
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This LEAA-Funded project tested the concept that interchanging counsel in criminal cases--enabling prosecutors to defend and defense counsel to prosecute--would improve the objectivity and competence of the participants.
Abstract: This report is based on an examination of both evaluation reports and interviews with many of the participants, supervisory personnel, and trial judges in whose courts the participants appeared. An Interchange of Counsel Program (ICP) similar to that conducted in Hennepin County (Minneapolis) improves the professionalism of attorneys prosecuting and defending criminal cases and is valuable as a training and career retention program. To be successful, an ICP must have the complete support of the prosecuting atttorney and the public defender. This support may be weakened if either is an elective office, because of the fear that the electorate may not understand the value of the program. An ICP, to avoid conflict-of-interest problems, should involve offices of sufficient size so that knowledge of pending cases cannot reasonably be imputed to members who move from the prosecution to defense, or vice versa; further, such offices should adopt and follow strict policies with respect to case assignments and conduct of participants similar to the policies adopted and followed in Hennepin County. For example, a program should involve participants who volunteer, who are career motivated, have approximately 2 years of experience, and are determined by their parent office to be the suitable for the program. Restrictive laws and ethical rulings in a number of jurisdictions may make it infeasible to conduct an interchange program. Appended materials include a summary of ICP conference proceedings, applicability of the conflict of interest laws, and ethical considerations. (Author abstract modified).
Index Term(s): Defense counsel; Prosecutors
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