Negotiation And Plea Bargaining Models

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Criminal Procedure, Netgotiation, and Plea Brgaining Models

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Negotiation And Plea Bargaining Models

  1. 1. Negotiation and Plea Bargaining Models Sharron Killebrew June 7, 2009
  2. 2. Basic Idea <ul><li>Plea bargaining is compatible with the assumptions involved in economic models of resource allocation and decision-theory models of negotiation </li></ul>June 7, 2009
  3. 3. This paper <ul><li>Understandings the process by which criminal charges are resolved? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There has been a great deal of research focusing on jury proceedings as one means of promoting such understanding (see, e.g., Devine, Clayton, Dunford, Seying, and Price, 2001; Gerbasi, Zuckerman, & Reis, 1977; Greene et a., 2002; Saks, 1997).the majority of the criminal cases are not resolved through jury or bench trials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The choices between trial and negotiated settlement of criminal charges as a matter of utility calculation within the resource constraints of prosecution and defense (Landes, 1971; Forst and Brosi, 1977) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bureau of Justice Statistics-2003-there were 75,573 cases disposed of in federal district court by trial or plea (excluding dismissals; of these, 71,683 (95%) were disposed of by a guilty plea (Pastore & McGuire, 2003). Of the 1,050,000 felony convictions in state court in 2002, 95% were estimated (based on available date from 492,949 convictions) as resolved by the defendant’s guilty plea (Pastore & Maguire, 2003). All of these guilty pleas may not have resulted from plea bargains as a defendant may plead guilty even in the absence of a plea bargain; there is not existing precise estimate of the proportion of criminal cases resolved through plea bargaining. </li></ul>June 7, 2009
  4. 4. Institutional Details <ul><li>Plea Bargains: there is a specific discount for pleading guilty. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plea before venue: the defendant is put to a decision in early stages; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In pre-trial hearings: the prosecutor and the defendant exchange information before bringing a plea bargain; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During the trial hearings (cracked trial due to late or delayed guilty plea). </li></ul></ul>June 7, 2009
  5. 5. Economics of Plea Bargaining <ul><li>Part of efficient criminal procedure because reduces costs and allows prosecutor to allocate resources more effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of efficient law enforcement (social welfare maximizing) because reduces costs and uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Plea-Bargaining is efficient because it is just like discretion in a regulatory proceeding. </li></ul>June 7, 2009
  6. 6. Economics of Plea Bargaining <ul><li>Plea Bargaining provides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>consistent signals that can enhance prosecutorial decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for efficient screening of cases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for efficient decision to stand trial. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consistency with the low-probability high-penalty enforcement strategy. </li></ul></ul>June 7, 2009
  7. 7. Arguments against Plea-Bargaining <ul><li>Discount for pleading guilty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Imposes a penalty on the right to be trialed; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Penalizes those who exercise the right to presumption of innocence; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It induces self-incrimination. </li></ul></ul>June 7, 2009
  8. 8. Defense of Plea-Bargaining <ul><li>Innocent defendants will be induced to plead guilty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As long as the probability of conviction is positively correlated with the probability of guilt, the selection-of-cases effect implies a reduced number of innocent defendants. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The reason is that prosecutorial discretion is not unconstrained. Hence, even if there is an incentive to offer a plea to low probability convictions, prosecutors have to (i) select cases under a fixed budget; (ii) cannot offer unlimited sentence discounts; (iii) cannot control extra legal sanctions triggered by guilty pleas. </li></ul></ul>June 7, 2009

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