Effects of Exonerations on Indigent Defense

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Holweg, Tyler
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
This thesis attempts to show a relationship, if any, between the cost of indigent defense in relation to exonerations. The analysis looks at data that has been compiled from the years 2008 to 2012 and examines a multitude of variables, which include the number of exonerations by state per year, the poverty rate in each individual state, the population in each state by year, the violent crime rate in each state, and the property crime rate in each state per year. The hypothesis was that as the number of exonerations continues to grow, so will the costs of expenditures within the indigent defense spending system. However, the results indicated that there was no statistically significant evidence to suggest that the number of exonerations had an effect on the cost of indigent defense spending in states or the country as a whole.
exoneration, indigent defense, Economics, Criminal justice, Convictions, Recidivism