Guilty Pleas

Deborah Tuerkheimer

in Flawed Convictions

Published in print April 2014 | ISBN: 9780199913633
Published online April 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199361830 | DOI:
Guilty Pleas

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  • Criminal Law
  • Medical and Healthcare Law


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When defendants in SBS cases plead guilty or no-contest, there are increasingly large disparities between the agreed-upon sentence and the defendant’s likely sentence after trial. “Lopsided” pleas entail a decided asymmetry between the seriousness of the formal charge, on the one hand; and the ultimate case disposition, on the other. This chapter considers the development of steep sentencing discounts as a reflection of a system in the midst of recalibration—a system in flux. It then explains why lopsided SBS pleas raise special concerns for innocence.

Keywords: guilty pleas; no-contest pleas; lopsided pleas; steep sentencing discounts; system in flux; innocence

Chapter.  5483 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; Medical and Healthcare Law

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