Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Criminal Procedure

1992

Yale Law Journal

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Plea-Bargaining As A Social Contract, Robert E. Scott, William J. Stuntz Jan 1992

Plea-Bargaining As A Social Contract, Robert E. Scott, William J. Stuntz

Faculty Scholarship

Most criminal prosecutions are settled without a trial. The parties to these settlements trade various risks and entitlements: the defendant relinquishes the right to go to trial (along with any chance of acquittal), while the prosecutor gives up the entitlement to seek the highest sentence or pursue the most serious charges possible. The resulting bargains differ predictably from what would have happened had the same cases been taken to trial. Defendants who bargain for a plea serve lower sentences than those who do not. On the other hand, everyone who pleads guilty is, by definition, convicted, while a substantial minority ...


A Reply: Imperfect Bargains, Imperfect Trials, And Innocent Defendants, Robert E. Scott Jan 1992

A Reply: Imperfect Bargains, Imperfect Trials, And Innocent Defendants, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

To understand what is and is not wrong with plea bargaining, one must understand the relationship of bargains to trials. Unsurprisingly, we disagree with much of what Judge Frank Easterbrook and Professor Stephen Schulhofer say about that relationship. Most of those disagreements need not be rehearsed here; readers attentive enough to wade through their essays and ours will pick up the key points readily enough. But there is one point where the dispute is at once sharp and hidden. It has to do with the fact that both trials and bargains are flawed.

That fact might seem obvious, but the ...


Paradigms Lost: The Blurring Of The Criminal And Civil Law Models – And What Can Be Done About It, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1992

Paradigms Lost: The Blurring Of The Criminal And Civil Law Models – And What Can Be Done About It, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Ken Mann's professed goal is to "shrink" the criminal law. To realize this worthy end, he advocates punitive civil sanctions that would largely parallel criminal sanctions, thereby reducing the need to use criminal law in order to achieve punitive purposes. I agree (heartily) with the end he seeks and even more with his general precept that "the criminal law should be reserved for the most damaging wrongs and the most culpable defendants." But I believe that the means he proposes would be counterproductive – and would probably expand, rather than contract, the operative scope of the criminal law as an ...