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Deterrence with Multiple Defendants: An Explanation for "Unfair" Plea Bargains

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  • Bruce H. Kobayashi

Abstract

This article examines plea bargaining where there are multiple defendants facing a prosecutor. The prosecutor's optimal offer to each defendant is shown to depend upon the following two factors: (i) the defendant's ex ante probability of conviction, and (ii) the defendant's ability to increase his co-conspirator's probability of conviction. Furthermore, if the ex ante probability of conviction is positively correlated with a defendant's ability to raise his co-conspirator's probability of conviction, a plea bargain that gives the most culpable defendant the lowest penalty can maximize deterrence.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce H. Kobayashi, 1992. "Deterrence with Multiple Defendants: An Explanation for "Unfair" Plea Bargains," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 507-517, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:23:y:1992:i:winter:p:507-517
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    Cited by:

    1. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
    2. Antonio Acconcia & Giovanni Immordino & Salvatore Piccolo & Patrick Rey, 2014. "Accomplice Witnesses and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1116-1159, October.
    3. Slim, Sadri, 2009. "Du refus de vente au don: une explication de la formation du prix par l´affect
      [From rejection of exchange to gift: regard as an explanation of prices]
      ," MPRA Paper 15317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Apr 2009.
    4. Schwarz Mordechai E., 2012. "Subgame Perfect Plea Bargaining in Biform Judicial Contests," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 297-330, September.
    5. Ghebrihiwet, N. & Motchenkova, E.I., 2010. "Leniency programs in the presence of judicial errors," Serie Research Memoranda 0008, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    6. Philippe Choné & Saïd Souam & Arnold Vialfont, 2012. "Commitments in Antitrust," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-9, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    7. Marc Blatter & Winand Emons & Silvio Sticher, 2018. "Optimal Leniency Programs When Firms Have Cumulative and Asymmetric Evidence," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 52(3), pages 403-427, May.
    8. repec:elg:eechap:17978_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:irlaec:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:58-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2018. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Ordered Leniency," NBER Working Papers 25095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2018. "Ordered Leniency: An Experimental Study of Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting," NBER Working Papers 25094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Richard Adelstein & Thomas Miceli, 2001. "Toward a Comparative Economics of Plea Bargaining," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 47-67, January.
    13. Salvatore Piccolo & Giovanni Immordino, 2012. "Optimal Accomplice-Witnesses Regulation under Asymmetric Information," CSEF Working Papers 304, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    14. Catarina Marvão & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2018. "Cartels and leniency: Taking stock of what we learnt," Chapters,in: Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume II, chapter 4, pages 57-90 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Sandeep Dahiya & David Yermack, 1999. "Wealth Creation and Destruction from Brooke Group's Tobacco Litigation Strategy," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-050, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.

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