skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 66768 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SOME PATTERNS AND DETERMINANTS OF PLEA-BARGAINING DECISIONS - A SIMULATION AND QUASI-EXPERIMENT (FROM PLEA-BARGAINING, 1980, BY WILLIAM F MCDONALD AND JAMES A CRAMER - SEE NCJ-66765)
Author(s): H H ROSSMAN; W F MCDONALD; J A CRAMER
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 77-NI-99-049; 74-NI-99-0129
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE FOCUSED ON ATTORNEYS' DECISIONMAKING PROCESSES IN PLEA NEGOTIATIONS, WITH ATTENTION TO TYPES AND AMOUNT OF INFORMATION USED.
Abstract: TWO HYPOTHETICAL CASES INVOLVING ROBBERY AND BURGLARY WER USED FOR A DECISIONMAKING SIMULATION (BASED ON THE WILKIN TECHNIQUE). THE SAMPLE INCLUDED 136 PROSECUTORS AND 104 DEFENSE ATTORNEYS ACROSS THE STATES. WITHIN THE SIMULATIO A QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN WAS USED TO MANIPULATE THE VARIABLES OF THE DEFENDANT'S PRIOR RECORD AND THE STRENGT OF THE CASE. IN ADDITION, PROSECUTORS WERE ASKED FOR THE LOWEST SENTENCE RECOMMENDATION THEY WOULD MAKE TO THE DEFENSE, AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WERE ASKED FOR THEIR HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. FINALLY, AN ESTIMATE WAS REQUESTE REGARDING THE PROBABILITY OF CONVICTION IN THE CASES. FINDINGS SHOWED THAT BOTH PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS EXAMINE THE BASIC FACTS, PRIOR RECORD, AND STRENGTH OF EACH CASE, ALL FACTORS WHICH WERE CONFIRMED A THE MOST IMPORTANT UNITS OF INFORMATION. HOWEVER, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS TEND TO LOOK AT MORE UNITS OF INFORMATION, ESPECIALLY THAT WHICH IS DESCRIPTIVE OF DEFENDANTS' CHARCTERISITCS. IN TERMS OF THE CASE DISPOSITION DECISION, DEFENSE COUNSEL SELECTED A GREATER NUMBER OF INFORMATION UNITS; YET THE LENGTH AND TYPE OF ATTORNEYS' EXPERIENCE HAD NO IMPACT ON THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION SELECTED. ESTIMATES OF CONVICTION PROBABILITY WERE THE SAME FOR BOTH GROUPS FOR THE BURGLARY CASE, BUT HIGHER FOR PROSECUTORS IN THE ROBBERY CASE. STRENGTH OF EVIDENCE HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON THE ESTIMATE OF CONVICTION PROBABILITY. PROSECUTORS WERE MORE LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN PLEA NEGOTIATIONS, WITH STRONG EVIDENCE AND LONG RECORDS INCREASING THE PROBABILITY OF NEGOTIATION. PROSECUTORS PRESSED FOR MORE SEVERE SENTENCES. PRIOR RECORD WAS IMPORTANT FOR BOTH BURGLARY AND ROBBERY, BUT EVIDENCE WAS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN BURGLARY ONLY. PERHAPS THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE ROBBERY CASE OUTWEIGHS THE IMPACT OF EVIDENCE, WHILE FOR THE BURGLARY CASE, A SMALL BUT NOTICEABLE EFFECT REGARDING CONVICTION PROBABILITY APPEARED. NOTES ARE INCLUDED, ALONG WITH TABLES OF RESPONSES. APPENDIXES PRESENT THE SIMULATION TOOLS. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Burglary; Decisionmaking; Defense counsel; Dispositions; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutors; Robbery; Sentencing/Sanctions; Simulation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66768

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.