Perceptions of Coercion in Plea Bargaining
22 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2015 Last revised: 17 Oct 2015
Date Written: July 10, 2015
This paper contains five new psychological studies analyzing lay perceptions of what constitutes coercion in the plea bargaining process. We investigate what an average citizen without particular legal or moral training thinks is appropriate, in contrast to plea bargaining laws and practices as they currently exist. We find that there is a base perception of coercion by prosecutors negotiating plea bargains. We also find specific factors in the prosecutor's behavior and the defendant's situation that make the plea bargaining process seem more coercive.
Keywords: criminal justice, law and psychology, behavioral economics, empirical legal studies, plea bargaining, coercion, perception, legitimacy
JEL Classification: D81, K14, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation