Asymmetries and Incentives in Plea Bargaining and Evidence Production
University of Chicago Law School
Tel Aviv University; University of Chicago - Law School
March 14, 2012
Yale Law Journal, Vol. 122, 2012
University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 592
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 379
Legal rules severely restrict payments to fact witnesses, though the government can often offer plea bargains or other nonmonetary inducements to encourage testimony. This asymmetry is something of a puzzle, for most asymmetries in criminal law favor the defendant. The asymmetry seems to disappear where physical evidence is at issue, though most such evidence can be compelled and need not be purchased. Another asymmetry concerns advance payment for likely witnesses, as opposed to monetary inducements once the content of the required testimony is known. One goal of this Article is to understand the various asymmetries — monetary/nonmonetary, prosecution/defense, ex ante/ex post, and testimonial/physical — and another is to suggest ways in which law could better encourage the production of evidence, and thus the efficient reduction of crime, with a relaxation of the rule barring payment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Date posted: March 14, 2012 ; Last revised: December 26, 2012
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