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Sentencing Guidelines, Judicial Discretion, and Plea Bargaining

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Author Info

  • Jennifer Reinganum

Abstract

The United States Sentencing Commission was created to develop federal sentencing guidelines, which restrict judicial discretion and were to found to increase the average sentence length while leaving unchanged the likelihood of resolution through plea bargaining. A game-theoretic model is developed in which a sentencing commission may impose guidelines or defer to judicial discretion; then a defendant and a prosecutor engage in plea bargaining; finally, those cases that fail to settle go to trial, where a sentence is determined according to the guidelines, if imposed or, if not, according to judicial discretion. Equilibrium behavior is consistent with the aforementioned findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 62-81

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:31:y:2000:i:spring:p:62-81

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Cited by:
  1. Éric Langlais & Marie Obidzinski, 2013. "Elected vs appointed public law enforcers," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-35, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.

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