Litigating from the Prison of the Mind: A Cognitive Right to Post-Conviction Counsel
Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 343, 2016
81 Pages Posted: 6 May 2016
Date Written: 2016
This article attempts to draw a picture of the incarcerated without counsel, who are separated from justice by the inhumanity of their imprisonment, the poverty of their information resources and the detriments of their cognitive life. Part I sets the stage by describing the conditions of confinement, the confined, and the state of pro se personhood. Part II addresses the reality of petition or perish created by Bounds and Casey. Part III concentrates on the necessity of a right to counsel borne from the conditions of confinement and the technological, physical and psychological barriers that burden the incarcerated. Among the most significant barriers to be considered are: (1) legal illiteracy and inferior research media; (2) impaired learning and thinking due to stress of confinement; and (3) cognitive disadvantage engendered by the gap between print and electronic research.
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