Do the Means Matter? Defense Attorneys’ Perceptions of Procedural Transgressions by Police and Their Implication on Police Legitimacy

Siyu Liu, Esther Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Through interviews (n = 40) and surveys (n = 140) with separate samples of U.S. defense attorneys practicing criminal law in a Northeastern state, we utilize a mixed-methods approach to explore police procedural transgressions (e.g., pretextual stops, overreaching searches) during stops, searches, and seizures. With a structural equation path model, we examine whether and how procedural justice (an assessment of “the means” to control crime) and police effectiveness (an assessment of police performance or “the ends”) affect each other and influence perceptions of police legitimacy. Our findings indicate that procedural justice enhances perceptions of police legitimacy, whereas police effectiveness does not have an effect. Policy implications for developing mechanisms that discourage procedural transgressions by police are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do the Means Matter? Defense Attorneys’ Perceptions of Procedural Transgressions by Police and Their Implication on Police Legitimacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this