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Plea bargaining with budgetary constraints

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  • Mongrain, Steeve
  • Roberts, Joanne

Abstract

In this paper, we construct a simple model that illustrates a perverse effect associated with plea bargaining in which an increase in sanctions can lead to reduced deterrence. This finding is derived from the interaction of binding budgetary constraints and plea bargaining. In an environment with these institutional features, higher sanctions are not always optimal when resources are limited, even if such sanctions are costless. Such potential phenomena may be useful in explaining the fact that many states have introduced limitations on plea bargaining. Prosecutors being concerned with their conviction rates is necessary for such a result to be present.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 8-12

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:1:p:8-12

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

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Keywords: Plea bargaining Budget constraint Crime Prosecutor;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Ramseyer, J Mark & Rasmusen, Eric B, 2001. "Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate So High?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 53-88, January.
  3. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
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  7. 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.
  8. Eric Rasmusen & Manu Raghav, & Mark Ramseyer, 2008. "Convictions versus Conviction Rates: The Prosecutor’s Choice," Working Papers 2008-16, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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  10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-66, October.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. William M. Landes, 1974. "Legality and Reality: Some Evidence on Criminal Procedure," NBER Working Papers 0040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  15. Thomas Miceli, 2007. "The Economics of Criminal Procedure," Working papers 2007-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  16. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  17. Levitt, Steven D. & Miles, Thomas J., 2007. "Empirical Study of Criminal Punishment," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  18. Boylan, Richard T & Long, Cheryl X, 2005. "Salaries, Plea Rates, and the Career Objectives of Federal Prosecutors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 627-51, October.
  19. Baker, Scott & Mezzetti, Claudio, 2001. "Prosecutorial Resources, Plea Bargaining, and the Decision to Go to Trial," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 149-67, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Marceau, Nicolas & Mongrain, Steeve, 1999. "Dissuader le crime : un survol," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 75(1), pages 123-147, mars-juin.

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