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ERIC Number: ED264503
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of the Elderly Defendant in the Criminal Court: Full Dress Adversary or Reluctant Penitant?
Feinberg, Gary
Approximately 200,000 persons aged 60 and older are arrested annually in the United States and over 50,000 of these persons are formally accused of a crime each year. An exploratory study was conducted to probe the adversarial posture of elderly misdemeanant defendants. An analysis of 4,976 cases drawn from the official dockets of the Dade County Court, Miami, Florida, was undertaken to determine the extent to which the elderly avail themselves of three due process protections: (1) the not guilty plea; (2) attorney representation; and (3) jury trials. Variances by age, sex, and race over a 10-year period (1974-1984) were statistically tested using standard X super 2 procedures and related Phi super 2 tests of association. Results showed that elderly misdemeanant defendants were not only nonadversarial, but they were consistently, if not significantly, less adversarial than similarly accused younger defendants. Recent changes, however, suggest that a new breed of elderly misdemeanant defendants is emerging, one more likely to assert innocence and to demand due process protections. The findings suggest that further research and a more rationally conceived and effective elderly justice system are needed. (Author/ABB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A