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Legal Profession Commons

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Criminal Procedure

Selected Works

Russell D. Covey

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

Fixed Justice: Reforming Plea-Bargaining With Plea-Based Ceilings, Russell D. Covey Nov 2015

Fixed Justice: Reforming Plea-Bargaining With Plea-Based Ceilings, Russell D. Covey

Russell D. Covey

The ubiquity of plea bargaining creates real concern that innocent defendants are occasionally, or perhaps even routinely, pleading guilty to avoid coercive trial sentences. Pleading guilty is a rational choice for defendants as long as prosecutors offer plea discounts so substantial that trial is not a rational strategy regardless of guilt or innocence. The long-recognized solution to this problem is to enforce limits on the size of the plea/trial sentencing differential. As a practical matter, however, discount limits are unenforceable if prosecutors retain ultimate discretion over charge selection and declination. Because the doctrine of prosecutorial charging discretion is immune ...


Longitudinal Guilt: Repeat Offenders, Plea Bargaining, And The Variable Standard Of Proof, Russell D. Covey Nov 2015

Longitudinal Guilt: Repeat Offenders, Plea Bargaining, And The Variable Standard Of Proof, Russell D. Covey

Russell D. Covey

This Article introduces a new concept-“longitudinal guilt”-which invites readers to reconsider basic presuppositions about the way our criminal justice system determines guilt in criminal cases. In short, the idea is that a variety of features of criminal procedure, most importantly, plea bargaining, conspire to change the primary “truthfinding mission” of criminal law from one of adjudicating individual historical cases to one of identifying dangerous “offenders.” This change of mission is visible in the lower proof standards we apply to repeat criminal offenders. The first section of this Article explains how plea bargaining and graduated sentencing systems based on ...


Longitudinal Guilt: Repeat Offenders, Plea Bargaining, And The Variable Standard Of Proof, Russell D. Covey Oct 2014

Longitudinal Guilt: Repeat Offenders, Plea Bargaining, And The Variable Standard Of Proof, Russell D. Covey

Russell D. Covey

This Article introduces a new concept-“longitudinal guilt”-which invites readers to reconsider basic presuppositions about the way our criminal justice system determines guilt in criminal cases. In short, the idea is that a variety of features of criminal procedure, most importantly, plea bargaining, conspire to change the primary “truthfinding mission” of criminal law from one of adjudicating individual historical cases to one of identifying dangerous “offenders.” This change of mission is visible in the lower proof standards we apply to repeat criminal offenders. The first section of this Article explains how plea bargaining and graduated sentencing systems based on ...