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NCJ Number: 67235 Find in a Library
Title: NEGOTIATION, RATIFICATION, AND RECISSION OF THE GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENT - A CONTRACTUAL ANALYSIS AND TYPOLOGY
Journal: DUQUESNE LAW REVIEW  Volume:17  Issue:3-4  Dated:(1978-1979)  Pages:591-632
Author(s): D A JONES
Corporate Author: Duquesne University
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FINDINGS FROM THE GEORGETOWN PLEA BARGAINING PROJECT FOCUSING ON THE IMPACT OF SANTOBELLO V. NEW YORK ARE ASSESSED. THE GUILTY PLEA NEGOTIATION PROCESS IS EMPHASIZED.
Abstract: THE GEORGETOWN STUDY INVOLVED ANALYSIS OF DATA PERTAINING TO EACH OF THE 3,100 JUDICIAL UNITS IN THE 50 STATES AS WELL AS ONSITE FIELD INVESTIGATION. AS A RESULT, A UNIQUE DATA BASE WAS GENERATED SO THAT THE IMPACT OF THE 1971 SANTOBELLO DECISION AND RELATED LAW CAN BE EVALUATED EMPIRICALLY. ORDINARILY, AN AGREEMENT TO PLEAD GUILTY ARISES OUT OF AN OFFER BY ONE PARTY AND AN ACCEPTANCE BY ANOTHER, SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT CONSIDERATION. THE TERM 'OFFER' IS USED MORE AMBIGUOUSLY DURING THE PROCESS OF GUILTY PLEA NEGOTIATIONS THAN DURING COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS. EITHER THE PROSECUTOR OR THE DEFENDANT MAY PROPOSE THE TERMS OF A GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENT, BUT DEFENSE COUNSEL NEGOTIATES FOR THE DEFENDANT. THE CONSIDERATION WHICH BINDS THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES TO A GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENT VARIES. THE PROSECUTOR COMMONLY SUPPLIES ONE OR MORE OF AT LEAST FOUR VARIETIES OF CONSIDERATION, ALONE OR IN COMBINATION, TO A DEFENDANT. THESE VARIETIES INCLUDE HORIZONTAL CHARGE REDUCTION, VERTICAL CHARGE REDUCTION, SENTENCE RECOMMENDATION, AND FORBEARANCE OF OTHER ACTION. A PROSECUTOR ALSO RECEIVES SOME VALUE IN RETURN FOR THE DEFENDANT'S GUILY PLEA, INCLUDING REDUCED CASELOAD. IN ADDITION, MOST AGREEMENTS ARE PREDICATED ON THE FULFILLMENT OF ONE OR MORE CONDITIONS, EITHER PRECEDENT OR SUBSEQUENT TO INCURRING BINDING LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT. THE ROLE OF THE JUDGE IS TO RATIFY OR NOT RATIFY THE PLEA AS TENDERED. TWO REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE TO THE DEFENDANT WHO DETERMINES THAT HE HAS ENTERED INTO A GUILTY PLEA IMPRUDENTLY. HE MAY PETITION THE COURT TO HAVE THE AGREEMENT RESCINDED, OR HE MAY DEMAND SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT. EVERY GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENT SHOULD BE EXAMINED TO DETECT THE PRESENCE OF FRAUD OR UNCONSCIONABILITY. COURTS SHOULD CONSIDER REQUIRING GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENTS TO BE WRITTEN AT THE TIME OF THEIR EXECUTION. ONCE RECOGNIZED AND REDUCED TO WRITING, THE GUILTY PLEA AGREEMENT CAN BE REGULATED OBJECTIVELY ON A BASIS THAT WILL ASSURE GREATER FAIRNESS TO DEFENDANTS AND TO THE COMMUNITY. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Criminal proceedings; Judicial decisions; Plea negotiations; Pleas; Studies
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67235

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