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: 66770 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: JUDICIAL ROLE IN PLEA-BARGAINING (FROM PLEA-BARGAINING, 1980, BY WILLIAM F MCDONALD AND JAMES A CRAMER - SEE NCJ-66765)
Author(s): J A CRAMER; H H ROSSMAN; W F MCDONALD
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Law Enforcement Assistance Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 77-NI-99-0049; 74-NI-99-0129
Dataset: DATASET 1
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ROLE OF TRIAL JUDGES IN THE PLEA-NEGOTIATION PROCESS IS ANALYZED, WITH CONSIDERATION OF WHETHER JUDGES SHOULD PLAY A PARTICIPATORY OR ONLY A SUPERVISORY ROLE IN THESE NEGOTIATIONS.
Abstract: JUDICIAL PARTICIPATION IS ANY DIRECT INVOLVEMENT WITH PROSECUTORS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, OR DEFENDANTS IN PREPLEA DISCUSSION INVOLVING CHARGE OR SENTENCE CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE DEFENDANT IN EXCHANGE FOR A PLEA. CONSIDERED IN THIS STUDY WERE THE POSITIONS OF ADVISORY COMMISSIONS AND STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ON THE ADVISABILITY OF JUDICIAL PARTICIPATION, THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF SUCH PARTICIPATION BASED ON DATA COLLECTED IN A 3-YEAR NATIONAL STUDY OF PLEA-BARGAINING, AND THE ISSUE OF COERCION AND JUDICIAL PARTICIPATION IN PLEA-BARGAINING. IN GENERAL, THE STUDY SHOWED THAT JUDGES ARE EXPECTED TO SUPERVISE PLEA-BARGAINING AND THE QUILTY-PLEA PROCESS EFFECTIVELY TO ENSURE FAIRNESS AND DUE PROCESS FOR ALL PARTIES. THE MAJOR ADVISORY COMMISSION, THE FEDERAL RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, AND MANY STATE RULES WOULD HAVE BARRED JUDGES FROM PARTICIPATING IN PLEA DISCUSSIONS. THE OBJECTION MOST OFTEN CITED IS THAT THE POWER OF JUDGES IS SO GREAT THAT THEIR PRESENCE IN PLEA DISCUSSIONS WOULD RENDER THE PROCESS EXCESSIVELY COERCIVE FOR DEFENDANTS. RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT ALTHOUGH THE GAINS FAR OUTWEIGH THE COSTS INVOLVED IN JUDICIAL INVOLVEMENT IN PLEA-BARGANING. FURTHERMORE, THE POTENTIALLY COERCIVE EFFECT OF DIRECT PARTICIPATION CAN BE CHECKED THROUGH LIMITING THE KIND OF ROLE JUDGES PLAY. TO PARTICIPATE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN BECOMING AN ADVOCATE, A FEAR EXPRESSED BY OPPONENTS OF JUDICIAL PARTICIPATION. THE MOST EFFECTIVE APPROACH TO JUDICIAL SUPERVISION IS FOR JUDGES TO BE IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE PARTIES INVOLVED. SUCH AN APPROACH IS MORE LIKELY TO RESULT IN A PLEA-BARGANING SYSTEM THAT IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE PROCESS AS WELL AS THE PRODUCT. NINE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (MPH)
Index Term(s): Coercive persuasion of offenders; Judges; Judicial conduct and ethics; Judicial discretion; Plea negotiations; Trial courts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66770

*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.