Part I of this Article reviews the existing evidence about the election of criminal justice officials and presents new evidence about the campaigns and outcomes in public defender elections. Voters respond to candidates for the public defender's office much in the same way that they react to candidates for the prosecutor's office: they choose the incumbent, even more often than they do for legislators and chief executives.2 The candidates themselves also behave fairly similarly in public defender and prosecutor election campaigns. Both the prosecutor and the defender candidates spend a disappointing amount of time in their campaign speeches discussing the actions of attorneys in particular cases. Part II explores why appointment remains the dominant method for selecting the public defender in the United States, despite the appeal of elections in terms of democratic theory. It is possible that the dominant pattern in the states - the election of prosecutors but not public defenders - simply reveals confusion or an incomplete evolution toward a more consistent approach to the selection of all criminal justice officials. Perhaps we should not elect any criminal justice actors - neither the prosecutor, judge, sheriff, police chief, nor the defense attorney. On the other hand, perhaps we should elect all of them, since all of these officials make decisions about spending taxpayer dollars and applying public morality.

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