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NCJ Number: 30648 Find in a Library
Title: INFORMAL BARGAINING (FROM CRIMINAL IN THE ARMS OF THE LAW, V 2 OF CRIME AND JUSTICE, 1971 BY LEON RADZINOWICZ AND MARVIN E WOLFGANT - SEE NCJ-07145)
Author(s): D J NEWMAN
Corporate Author: Basic Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Basic Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: BASED ON INTERVIEWS WITH 97 FELONS CONVICTED IN ONE COURT DISTRICT, THIS PAPER EXAMINES THE PROCESS BY WHICH PLEAS ARE NEGOTIATED AND THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THESE NEGOTIATIONS.
Abstract: IT WAS NOTED THAT OF THE 97 CONVICTIONS, 93.8 PERCENT WERE OBTAINED THROUGH THE DEFENDANT ENTERING A PLEA OF GUILTY. IT WAS SEEN THAT 38.1 PERCENT OF THESE CONVICTIONS WERE OBTAINED WHEN AN INITIAL PLEA OF NOT GUILTY WAS CHANGED TO GUILTY. IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT MEN ENTERING AN INITIAL PLEA OF NOT GUILTY WERE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE OFTEN REPRESENTED BY DEFENSE ATTORNEYS THAN THE MEN PLEADING GUILTY IMMEDIATELY. THE EVENTUAL DISPOSITIONS OF THE TWO TYPES OF CASES - INITIAL GUILTY PLEA AND INITIAL PLEA OF NOT GUILTY - WERE NOT FOUND TO DIFFER. THE INITIAL GUILTY PLEA GROUP AND THOSE WITHOUT COUNSEL WERE MOST OFTEN RECIDIVISTS, WHILE THOSE PLEADING INNOCENT OR RETAINING COUNSEL WERE MOST OFTEN EXPERIENCING THEIR FIRST CONVICTION. THE ARTICLE EXAMINES THE REASONS FOR PLEADING GUILTY WITHOUT A LAWYER, THE CONVICTION PROCESS OF THOSE WHO RETAINED COUNSEL, THE TYPES OF BARGAINING WHERE AN ATTORNEY WAS RETAINED, AND THE TYPES OF INFORMAL CONVICTION AGREEMENTS REACHED. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT GENERAL FINDING OF THE STUDY WAS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE FELONY CONVICTIONS IN THE DISTRICT STUDIED WERE NOT THE RESULT OF THE FORMAL, COMBATIVE THEORY OF CRIMINAL LAW INVOLVING IN EFFECT A LEGAL BATTLE BETWEEN PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE, BUT WERE COMPROMISE CONVICTIONS, THE RESULT OF BARGAINING BETWEEN DEFENSE AND PROSECUTION. SUCH INFORMAL CONVICTION PROCESSES WERE OBSERVED IN OVER HALF OF THE CASES STUDIED. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE INFORMAL CONVICTION PROCESS TO CRIMINOLOGY ARE DISCUSSED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Convictions; Dispositions; Judicial process; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial discretion; Sentencing/Sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=30648

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