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NCJ Number: 65949 Find in a Library
Title: COSTS AND THE PLEA BARGAINING PROCESS - REDUCING THE PRICE OF JUSTICE TO THE NONINDIGENT DEFENDANT
Journal: YALE LAW JOURNAL  Volume:89  Issue:2  Dated:(DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:333-352
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Yale Law Journal
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Yale Law Journal
New Haven, CT 06520
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CONTRARY TO PRACTICES IN OTHER COUNTRIES WHEREBY CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS ACQUITTED AT TRIAL ARE COMPENSATED, THE U.S. POLICY MAKES THE INHERENT EXPENSE OF A TRIAL UNIQUELY BURDENSOME FOR THE NONINDIGENT DEFENDANT.
Abstract: THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF COST ALLOCATION CREATES A STRONG INCENTIVE FOR NONINDIGENT DEFENDANTS TO PLEAD GUILTY, SINCE THE DEFENDANTS HAVE TO BEAR THE COSTS OF A TRIAL REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME. ALTHOUGH PLEA BARGAINING MAY APPEAR TO CONFLICT WITH TWO PRIMARY GOALS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM--TRUTH DETERMINATION AND PROTECTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE STATE--THE SUPREME COURT HAS REPEATEDLY UPHELD NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENTS. IN THE COURT'S VIEW, AS LONG AS THE BARGAINING PROCESS IS ITSELF FAIR, THE INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANT'S INFORMED EXPECTATIONS SERVE AS AN ADEQUATE SAFEGUARD AGAINST THE MOST EXTREME KINDS OF PROSECUTORIAL PRESSURE. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES THE COURT'S ANALYSIS OF PROSECUTORIAL PRESSURE IN THE PLEA BARGAINING CONTEXT TO THE ISSUE OF COST CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NONINDIGENT DEFENDANT. IT DEMONSTRATES THAT COST CONSIDERATIONS BRING PRESSURES TO BEAR ON NONINDIGENT DEFENDANTS THAT ARE QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE PRESENTED BY A PROSECUTOR'S SENTENCING AND CHARGE CONCESSIONS BECAUSE COST CONSIDERATIONS POSE A THREAT THAT IS UNREMITTING. THIS SITUATION HAS AN IMPACT NOT ONLY ON DEFENDANTS THEMSELVES BUT ALSO THREATENS THE PROCESS VALUES EMBODIED IN THE GOAL OF THE PROTECTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL. THE ADOPTION OF AN INDEMIFICATION PROVISION FOR ACQUITTED DEFENDANTS IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT PLEA BARGAINING COMPORTS WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUES THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO FURTHER. CASE NOTES ARE CITED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--PRG)
Index Term(s): Acquittals; Court costs; Defendants; Judicial process; Plea negotiations; Waiver of rights
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65949

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