Book

The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Richard L. Lippke

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199641468
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732195 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641468.001.0001

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

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The Ethics of Plea Bargaining offers a sustained argument for restrained forms of plea bargaining and against the freewheeling kinds of it that predominate in the United States. Rewards for admitting guilt are distinguished from penalties for exercising the right to trial. The latter appear in numerous guises and are shown to be indefensible. Modest and fixed sentence reductions for defendants who admit their guilt are urged. Deliberate overcharging by prosecutors and charge bargaining, it is argued, should be discouraged. Claims that large and variable charge and sentence reductions are needed to expand deserved punishment, reward remorseful offenders, encourage cooperation from defendants in implicating others suspected of crimes, enhance the deterrent profile of the criminal justice system, or salvage convictions when the evidence against accused individuals is weak are all shown to lack credibility. The contention that such reductions in punishment are justified because they are freely agreed by state officials and criminal defendants is likewise shown to be unconvincing, given the ways in and extent to which criminal justice practices ought to be structured by desert or crime reduction norms. Forms of overcriminalization are noted throughout the book and shown to complicate the analysis of plea bargaining practices.

Keywords: plea bargaining; trial penalties; overcharging; sentence reductions; charge bargaining; legal punishment; overcriminalization; deserved sentences; crime reduction; freedom of contract

Book.  272 pages. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Waiver Rewards and Trial Penalties in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Against Trial Penalties in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Waiver Rewards and Deserved Punishment in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Remorse and Waiver Rewards in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Waiver Rewards and the Reduction of Crime in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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Rewarding Cooperation in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

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Plea Bargains as Contracts in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

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Plea Bargaining and Getting at the Truth in The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Chapter

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