Article Title

The Reform Blindspot


The last few years have seen a marked shift in the public’s response to mass incarceration. Some state legislatures have responded by changing criminal statutes and sentencing schemes to reduce the number of people incarcerated in jails and prisons and lessen the collateral consequences faced by those previously convicted of crimes. Although these efforts are laudable, they may fail to consider the limitations imposed upon convicted persons seeking to avail themselves of these benefits without the assistance of counsel. This essay argues that, in addressing the question of how best to effectuate the progressive goals of criminal justice reform, it is critical to view the issue through Fourteenth Amendment theories supporting the right to counsel on appeal. This avenue promises a reasonable and feasible method of providing the type of legal support that is necessary to ensure reform statutes are accessible to those they were created to help.

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