Rewarding Cooperation: The Moral Complexities of Procuring Accomplice Testimony

New Criminal Law Review 13 (1), 2010: 90-118

29 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012 Last revised: 30 Sep 2013

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Cooperation rewards are reductions in charges or sentences given to criminal defendants in exchange for their willingness to provide testimony or other evidence against their former accomplices. Such rewards are scrutinized on the grounds that they encourage vice by rewarding betrayal, promote absolute and comparative injustices in sentencing, and yield unreliable evidence. Though the objections do not demonstrate that such rewards should be altogether abandoned, they do suggest that such rewards should be kept modest in most cases. In the course of analyzing cooperation rewards, attention is paid to the contemporary context in which too much conduct is prohibited, punished excessively, or policed inequitably.

Keywords: accomplice testimony, plea bargaining, substantial assistance, loyalty, comparative justice

Suggested Citation

Lippke, Richard, Rewarding Cooperation: The Moral Complexities of Procuring Accomplice Testimony (2010). New Criminal Law Review 13 (1), 2010: 90-118, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189442

Richard Lippke (Contact Author)

Indiana University ( email )

Department of Criminal Justice
Bloomington, IN
United States
812-856-6049 (Phone)

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