SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: The grand jury system and due process rights generally are recognized as two of the great “checks” in protecting private citizens from the inherent dangers that may exist should the executive branch of the government be tempted to use the criminal justice system as a vehicle for its own political purposes. These historical checks, however, seem to have dissolved in present practices and procedures implemented by federal prosecutors in their investigations of public officials. A paradigm example of this is the grand jury investigation of Walter L. Nixon, Jr., United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. Nixon was convicted of two counts of perjury for lying to a grand jury. This author was present throughout the entire Nixon trial. Copious notes were taken and verified by cross-checking them with the trial transcript. What Nixon's case dramatizes is the fundamental problems inherent within the grand jury system: specifically, that prosecutors have the power to use the federal grand jury system to deny systematically grand jury targets their usual due process rights and then to subject them to criminal liability for perjury which is manufactured only because the targets are processed through the grand jury process itself.
Journal Article 2: Cohen, T. H. (2012). Who is better at defending criminals? Does type of defense attorney matter in terms of producing favorable case outcomes. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 0887403412461149.
Abstract: The role of defense counsel in criminal cases constitutes a topic of substantial importance for judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, scholars, and policymakers. What types of defense counsel (e.g., public defenders, privately retained attorneys, or assigned counsel) represent defendants in criminal cases and how do these defense counsel types perform in terms of securing favorable outcomes for their clients? These and other issues are addressed in this article analyzing felony case-processing data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Specifically, this article examines whether differences in defense counsel representation matter in terms of the probability of conviction and severity of sentence imposed. Results show that private attorneys and public defenders secure similar adjudication and sentencing outcomes for their clients. Defendants with assigned counsel, however, receive less favorable outcomes compared to their counterparts with public defenders. This article concludes by discussing the policy implications of these findings and possible avenues for future research.