Investigating Gideon’s Legacy in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

122 Yale Law Journal 2376, 2013

18 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2022

See all articles by Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2022

Abstract

This Essay investigates the legacy of Gideon by examining the de facto courts of last resort for convicted offenders: the federal courts of appeals. Part I focuses on the U.S. courts of appeals’ judges and caseloads, revealing that very few federal appellate judges have prior criminal defense experience, despite the fact that half of their caseload consists of criminal and quasicriminal appeals. Part II posits that in an era of mass incarceration, the perspective of judges who have had criminal defense experience may be especially vital because judges’ lack of criminal defense experience may affect their ultimate assessment of the merits of criminal and quasicriminal appeals. The Essay calls for further research to investigate whether federal appellate judges’ prior experience in criminal defense or prosecution may affect their determination of the merits of a criminal conviction.

Keywords: judges, criminal defense, prior experience

Suggested Citation

Hughes, Emily, Investigating Gideon’s Legacy in the U.S. Courts of Appeals (March 1, 2022). 122 Yale Law Journal 2376, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4047197

Emily Hughes (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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