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Lesser-included offenses

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Orzach, Ram & Spurr, Stephen J., 2008. "Lesser-included offenses," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 239-245, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:4:p:239-245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1988. "Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 713-728, September.
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    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.
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