Mezzanatto and the Economics of Self Incrimination
Eric Bennett Rasmusen
Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy
Cardozo Law Review.
This paper uses the economic approach to address a recent legal question involving self incrimination: what is the effect of allowing a defendant to waive his right to exclude statements he makes during plea bargaining from evidence at trial if plea bargaining fails? This was the issue in the 1995 Mezzanatto Supreme Court decision. What is the reason for such waivers, and do they increase or decrease the amount of plea bargaining? I suggest that the waivers have two functions in ``cooperation bargaining'' as opposed to ``penalty bargaining'': (a) increasing the incentive of the defendant to provide the full cooperation he promises in return for leniency, and (b) increasing the reliability of the information the defendant provides.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 21, 1998
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