Plea Bargains, Guilty Pleas and the Consequences for Appeal in England and Wales

12 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2013 Last revised: 2 Oct 2013

Juliet Horne

University of Warwick

Date Written: June 28, 2013

Abstract

The vast majority of defendants in England & Wales are convicted by way of guilty plea. The criminal justice system provides significant incentives for defendants to plead guilty, which give rise to a risk that defendants who are innocent may be pressurised into pleading guilty. As a consequence, it is important that the criminal justice system provides an effective appeal mechanism that seeks to detect and remedy wrongful convictions through guilty pleas. This paper argues that, unfortunately, consideration of the current appeal provision and the approach of the Court of Appeal to guilty pleas reveals that this is unlikely to happen. Further, it is argued that a contributory factor in this failure to address the risk of wrongful conviction by way of guilty plea is the contradiction and lack of clarity in the meaning attributed to the guilty plea at different stages within the criminal justice process.

Keywords: guilty pleas

Suggested Citation

Horne, Juliet, Plea Bargains, Guilty Pleas and the Consequences for Appeal in England and Wales (June 28, 2013). Warwick School of Law Research Paper No. 2013/10 (Special Plea Bargaining Edition, editor Jackie Hodgson). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2286681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2286681

Juliet Horne (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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