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Criminal Procedure

Law Faculty Scholarship

2011

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The Surprising Lessons From Plea Bargaining In The Shadow Of Terror, Lucian E. Dervan Jan 2011

The Surprising Lessons From Plea Bargaining In The Shadow Of Terror, Lucian E. Dervan

Law Faculty Scholarship

Since September 11, 2001, several hundred individuals have been convicted of terrorism related charges. Of these convictions, over 80% resulted from a plea of guilty. It is surprising and counterintuitive that such a large percentage of these cases are resolved in this manner, yet, even when prosecuting suspected terrorists caught attempting suicide attacks, the power of the plea bargaining machine exerts a striking influence. As a result, a close examination of these extraordinary cases offers important insights into the forces that drive the plea bargaining system. Utilizing these insights, this article critiques two divergent and dominant theories of plea bargaining ...