Of the legal scholarship examining the representation of the innocent accused, most has to do with guilty pleas, not trial or post-trial advocacy. Most of this literature is concerned with the pressure put on innocent defendants to plead guilty in order to receive a more lenient sentence than what they would get if found guilty at trial. This problem is compounded by the inability of poor defendants to make bail. Unfortunately, there are other, equally insidious ways to pressure innocent defendants to plead guilty. When addressing the question of defending the innocent at trial or in a post-conviction challenge, most criminal defense commentators agree that nothing is more burdensome. As one commentator put it: "Those rare trials of a defendant when the lawyer truly believes to be innocent ... are grueling and frightening experiences, in which the usual will to win is elevated to a desperate desire to succeed.”
32 Conn. L. Rev. 485-522 (2000)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Smith, Abbe, "Defending the Innocent" (2000). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 221.