Nudging the Criminal Justice System into Listening to Crime Victims in Plea Agreements

33 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2016

See all articles by Dana Pugach

Dana Pugach

Ono Academic College Faculty of Law

Michal Tamir

The Academic Center of Law and Science

Date Written: October 17, 2016

Abstract

The Crime Victim’s Rights Act has given victims “the right to participate in the system.” However, crime victims remain marginalized as their involvement in plea agreements is yet under enforced.

This article reveals the largely unnoticed gap between the victim’s rights and the disadvantaged reality they experience in plea agreements. Further, the paper identifies the legal causes that led to this gap; namely, the broad discretion and dominance of the prosecution on the one hand, and the victim’s lack of enforcement mechanisms to participate on the other.

The article provides a solution whose novelty is twofold. First, the solution advocated by this article embodies the nudge theory; a theory, explained in this article, which is unfortunately yet to be adequately utilized in the context of criminal law. Second, the article demonstrates a choice architecture mechanism that leaves the prosecutor’s discretion intact; while at the same time nudges the participation of the crime victims.

The right-reality gap identified in this article threatens to leave crime victims unheard. This article analyzes the importance of victims’ voice in plea bargains, identifies the causes of this entrenched gap, and provides a unique and practical solution to the problem.

Keywords: Criminal Law, Crime Victims, Plea Agreements, The Nudge Theory

Suggested Citation

Pugach, Dana and Tamir, Michal, Nudging the Criminal Justice System into Listening to Crime Victims in Plea Agreements (October 17, 2016). Hastings Women's Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2853559

Dana Pugach (Contact Author)

Ono Academic College Faculty of Law ( email )

104 Zahal St.
Kiryat Ono, 55000
Israel

Michal Tamir

The Academic Center of Law and Science ( email )

Hamargoa 5
Hod Hasharon
Israel

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
89
Abstract Views
485
rank
317,666
PlumX Metrics