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NCJ Number: 78665 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecutors' Role in Plea Bargaining - Reasons Related to Actions (From Essays on the Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice, P 275-294, 1977, by Robert M Rich - See NCJ-78656)
Author(s): M S Knudten
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Reasons indicated by prosecutors for plea bargaining are identified, and the extent to which stated reasons are actually associated with plea negotiations is determined, followed by an examination of the conditions under which various rationales for plea bargaining are used.
Abstract: Data were obtained from a survey of county prosecutors in Wisconsin and Michigan, with 77 prosecutors responding -- 50 percent of the total available in the two States. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of a series of reasons listed for plea negotiations. The plea-negotiation reasons given can be categorized as follows: legal problems (errors in arrest or search procedures, problems in obtaining witness testimony, statute of limitations, etc.), limited resources available to take a case to full trial, individualized justice (permits dealing with defendants according to their individual circumstances), and the prosecutors' desire to ameliorate legislative overcriminalization. The predominant reasons cited by prosecutors were categorized as legal problems; somewhat less important was limited resources. The more experienced part-time prosecutors with liberal political perspectives are most likely to state that workload and limited resources favor plea negotiations, while rural part-time prosecutors focus on individualizing justice; overcriminalization is the reason for plea negotiations most often mentioned by urban full-time prosecutors. In examining actual plea bargaining cases, legal problems were found to be the operative reasons for negotiations. Tabular data and 10 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Michigan; Plea negotiations; Prosecutors; Wisconsin
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