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The College Scam Defendants' Privilege Is Following Them into Court

Susan Zalkind
Vice
“Representation can vary wildly, and it matters crucially to how your case turns out."

Not only are wealthy defendants able to hire better representation, they are often treated better by virtue of being wealthy, and less likely to enter the criminal justice system in the first place, added Frank, who recently authored a journal article titled How Rising Income Inequality Threatens Access to the Legal System.

Chiraag Bains, the legal director at left-leaning think tank Demos who previously worked at the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, agreed. “Representation can vary wildly, and it matters crucially to how your case turns out,” he said, adding that while a key factor is wealth, the result of this is often a breakdown along racial lines, in which white people have access to better representation than people of color—“that’s an aspect I saw over and over again in the criminal justice system,” he said.

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