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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77224 Find in a Library
Title: Defending the Indigent in Bexar County, Texas District Courts
Journal: National Journal of Criminal Defense  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:63-77
Author(s): J H Lindquist; O S Heard
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes a study focusing on the effectiveness of Bexar County's implementation of the San Antonio Plan for making competent attorneys available to indigents tried in the district courts in Texas.
Abstract: Since the Supreme Court's ruling in Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972), defending the indigent is requiring more resources. Over 60 percent of those charged with criminal offenses now require publicly supported counsel. This study examines one approach, the San Antonio Plan, which was designed to provide counsel for indigent defendants. The plan seeks to improve representation in two ways: by allowing attorneys to request that they not be appointed to defend indigents and by allowing attorneys to volunteer for more than the normal number of appointments. The plan is administered by the San Antonio Bar Association. For this study, a sample of 1,265 attorneys was chosen from a list of all attorneys licensed to practice in the Bexar County District Courts during 1976. It was hypothesized that those who joined the plan would have significantly fewer criminal cases than those who did not join the plan and that those who volunteered to accept cases beyond their normal assignments would engage in criminal practice to a greater extent than those who did not volunteer. Only felony cases were examined. Routine descriptive statistics, frequency counts for several variables, and cross-tabulations between attorney status in the plan and other variables were run. The hypotheses were confirmed through data analysis. In addition, the plan is working with regard to the elimination from the defense pool of those attorneys who were unable or unwilling to defend indigents. Four footnotes and six tables are provided.
Index Term(s): Data analysis; Defender systems; Defense counsel; Indigents; Right to counsel; Texas
Note: Revised version of a paper read at the 1977 annual meeting of the Southwestern Sociological Association.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=77224

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