The Emergence of Plea Bargaining

Mary E. Vogel

in Coercion to Compromise

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780195101751
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199851461 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

The Emergence of Plea Bargaining

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This chapter investigates the influence of improvisation in law on the emergence of plea bargaining in the U.S.A. It identifies what circumstances combined to cause episodic leniency to be recrafted into the distinctive legal form known as plea bargaining, and suggests that the assumed origin of plea bargaining in the 1830s and 1840s coincided with a perceived crisis of unrest and social instability in the republic. The chapter also discusses issues and events that may have influenced the emergence of plea bargaining, including movements for social reform and popular challenge to the common law.

Keywords: law; plea bargaining; U.S.A.; episodic leniency; social instability; social reform; common law

Chapter.  17508 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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