Pleading Innocents: Laboratory Evidence of Plea Bargaining's Innocence Problem
21 Current Research in Social Psychology 14 (2013)
8 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2013
We investigated plea bargaining by making students actually guilty or innocent of a cheating offense and varying the sentence that they would face if found ‘guilty’ by a review board. As hypothesized, guilty students were more likely than innocent students to accept a plea deal (i.e., admit guilt and lose credit; akin to accepting a sentence of probation) (Chi-square=8.63, p<.01) but we did not find an effect of sentence severity. Innocent students, though not as likely to plead as guilty students, showed an overall preference (56% across conditions) for accepting a plea deal. Implications and future directions are discussed.
"The Innocent Defendant’s Dilemma: An Innovative Empirical Study of Plea Bargaining’s Innocence Problem," 103 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 1 (2013): A longer law review article discussing the findings and examining the implications of the results on the constitutionality of plea bargaining is available at this here:http://ssrn.com/abstract= 2071397.
Keywords: plea bargaining, innocence, empirical study, psychological study, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K30, K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation