CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Metzger on Data Collection and Public Defenders

Metzger pamelaPamela Metzger (Tulane University - Law School) has posted Me and Mr. Jones: A Systems-Based Analysis of a Catastrophic Defense Outcome (Albany Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Leo S. Jones spent four months in jail, accused of a probation that had long since expired. His incarceration was illegal. It was also preventable. 

In this essay, I describe the unique data collection project that identified Mr. Jones’ case. Then, I analyze the various individual, institutional, and systemic practices that contributed to Mr. Jones’ illegal incarceration. I show how an investigation of Mr. Jones’ case led to the discovery of widespread latent errors that may have adversely affected innumerable other detainees. I conclude by explaining what this case reveals about how data collection and analysis can improve public defender practice.

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