Bargained Justice: The Rise of False Testimony for False Pleas
60 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2021
Date Written: August 1, 2020
The authors conducted a multi-year psychological deception study in the United States, Japan, and South Korea to gain greater understanding of the phenomenon of false pleas of guilty by the innocent. The study also explored whether innocent participants would be willing to offer false testimony in return for the benefits of a plea bargain. Our data indicate that a significant number of individuals are not only willing to falsely plead guilty in return for a benefit, they are also willing to falsely testify against others in official proceedings to secure those advantages for themselves. This is the first time laboratory research has demonstrated the false plea phenomenon in different countries, cultures, and legal systems. It is also the first time laboratory research has documented the phenomenon of false testimony in return for the benefits of a plea bargain. The article also contains information regarding the history of plea bargaining in the United States, Japan, and South Korea, a discussion of the current debate about plea bargaining in each jurisdiction, and a brief review of potential paths forward to address plea bargaining's innocence problem.
Keywords: Criminal Justice, Criminal Procedure, Plea Bargain, Plea Bargaining, False Plea, Innocent, Innocence, False Testimony, Co-Defendant, Japan, South Korea, International
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K33, K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation