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Lesser-included offenses

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Author Info

  • Orzach, Ram
  • Spurr, Stephen J.

Abstract

The positions taken by prosecutors and defense lawyers on proposed jury instructions on lesser-included offenses provide evidence that juries do not follow the law strictly. This paper develops a simple model of expected utility to predict how jurors make their decisions. The model explains a stylized fact that is inconsistent with the idea that juries always follow the law, namely why prosecutors often object to giving the jury the option of a lesser-included offense. We use the model to evaluate the law concerning jury instructions on primary and lesser-included offenses.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V7M-4T5TPMD-1/2/f781edd0aae7ca53617835443d69e225
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 239-245

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:4:p:239-245

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

Related research

Keywords: Lesser-included offense Expected utility;

References

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  1. Bar-Gill, Oren & Gazal Ayal, Oren, 2006. "Plea Bargains Only for the Guilty," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 353-64, April.
  2. repec:att:wimass:8908 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Mats Persson & Claes-Henric Siven, 2007. "The Becker Paradox And Type I Versus Type Ii Errors In The Economics Of Crime," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 211-233, 02.
  4. Landes, William M, 1971. "An Economic Analysis of the Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 61-107, April.
  5. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1988. "Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 713-28, September.
  6. Simonson, Itamar, 1989. " Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 158-74, September.
  7. Grossman, Gene M & Katz, Michael L, 1983. "Plea Bargaining and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 749-57, September.
  8. Richard T. Boylan, 2005. "What Do Prosecutors Maximize? Evidence from the Careers of U.S. Attorneys," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 379-402.
  9. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
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