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: 68093 Find in a Library
Title: TORTURE AND PLEA BARGAINING
Journal: PUBLIC INTEREST  Issue:58  Dated:(WINTER 1980)  Pages:43-61
Author(s): J H LANGBEIN
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ESSAY DRAWS AN ANALOGY BETWEEN MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN TORTURE AND PLEA BARGAINING IN ORDER TO PRESENT THE NEED FOR REFORM OF THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Abstract: PARALLELS IN ORIGIN, IN FUNCTION, AND EVEN IN SPECIFIC POINTS OF DOCTRINE EXIST BETWEEN MEDIEVAL TORTURE AND AMERICAN PLEA BARGAINING. EACH SYSTEM CONCENTRATES ON INDUCING THE ACCUSED TO TENDER A CONFESSION THAT WOULD WAIVE THE RIGHT TO SAFEGUARDS. LIKE MEDIEVAL TORTURE, AMERICAN JUSTICE MOVES FROM AN ADJUDICATORY TO A CONCESSIONARY SYSTEM IN WHICH THE ACCUSED IS COERCED. BECAUSE PLEA BARGAINING INVOLVES CONDEMNATION WITHOUT ADJUDICATION, IT UNDERMINES A MORAL POSTULATE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THAT IS, THAT SERIOUS CRIMINAL SANCTIONS SHOULD BE IMPOSED ONLY WHEN THE ACCUSED HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. FURTHERMORE, PLEA BARGAINING CONCENTRATES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OF PROCEDURE IN THE HANDS OF A SINGLE OFFICER. THUS, PLEA BARGAINING IS A FAILURE IN THAT IT SACRIFICES FUNDAMENTAL VALUES; MODERN CONTINENTAL CRIMINAL PROCEDURE SHOULD BE USED AS A MODEL FOR REFORM. (MFE)
Index Term(s): Europe; Plea negotiations; United States of America
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68093

*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.