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Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion

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  • Reinganum, Jennifer F.

Abstract

A model of plea bargaining with asymmetric information is presented. The prosecutor's private information consists of the strength of the case, while the defendant's private information consists of h is guilt or innocence. In equilibrium, a fraction of cases are dismis sed because they are too likely to involve an innocent defendant; in the remaining cases, the prosecutor's offer of a sentence in exchange for a plea of guilty reveals the strength of the case. It is shown t hat unlimited prosecutorial discretion may be socially disadvantageou s since it carries with it the requirement of sequential rationality. Copyright 1988 by American Economic Association.
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  • Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1986. "Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion," Working Papers 616, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:616
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