The Role of Public Defenders Within the American Justice System
Keywords:Public Defenders, Caseload, Plea Deals, Waivers, Bench Verdicts, Michigan
This paper examines the inner workings of the legal system in connection with public defenders and their duties. The factors of total caseload, plea deals, waivers, and bench verdicts were implemented to create a comprehensive means of measuring work ethic, due to their significant presence in the everyday workings of public defenders. Through a meta-analysis of the five most densely populated African American cities within the state of Michigan, the combined and individual weighted mean effect sizes were calculated to determine if there was a strong positive or negative effect of the four factors mentioned above on work ethic. Additionally, both the upper and lower credibility levels were calculated to analyze their proximity to the weighted means. For all four factors tested, the weighted mean effect sizes relate a positive effect of the factors on work ethic, with all means falling closer to their upper credibility levels. These results confirm that the factors of total caseload, plea deals, waivers, and bench verdicts affect how cases are being handled and how clients are being treated.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Brianna Fisher; Patti Thompson
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