Responses to More Severe Punishment in the Courtroom: Evidence from Truth-in-Sentencing Laws
We investigate behavioral responses of judges and prosecutors to more severe punishments by analyzing the effects of Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) laws in a large sample of individual criminal cases. The TIS laws raised effective punishment by requiring offenders to serve at least 85% of their imposed sentence in prison. Differences between the U.S. states in the timing of adoption and the types of crimes covered provide a source of identification. The key findings are: (1) The TIS laws reduced the probability that an arrested offender is eventually convicted by 25% through an increase in the probability that the case is dismissed, a reduction in the probability that the defendant pleads guilty, and a reduction in the probability that the defendant is convicted at trial. (2) The TIS laws the reduced the imposed sentence that a defendant may expect upon arrest by 14%. The behavioral responses are empirically important to partially mitigate the intended deterrent effect of the TIS laws.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 882, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Praha 1|
Phone: (+420) 224 005 123
Fax: (+420) 224 005 333
Web page: http://www.cerge-ei.cz
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1986.
"Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion,"
616, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Bjerk, David, 2005.
"Making the Crime Fit the Penalty: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion under Mandatory Minimum Sentencing,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 591-625, October.
- David Bjerk, 2004. "Making the Crime Fit the Penalty: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion Under Mandatory Minimum Sentencing," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-12, McMaster University.
- Daniel P. Kessler & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1997.
"The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System,"
NBER Working Papers
6261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kessler, Daniel P & Piehl, Anne Morrison, 1998. "The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 256-276, October.
- Snyder, Edward A, 1990. "The Effect of Higher Criminal Penalties on Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 439-462, October.
- Shepherd, Joanna M, 2002. "Police, Prosecutors, Criminals, and Determinate Sentencing: The Truth about Truth-in-Sentencing Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 509-534, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp403. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jana Koudelkova)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.