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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Selected Works

R. Michael Cassidy

ABA Model Rule 3.8s

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Some Reflections On Ethics And Plea Bargaining: An Essay In Honor Of Fred Zacharias, R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Some Reflections On Ethics And Plea Bargaining: An Essay In Honor Of Fred Zacharias, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In this article the author explores what it means for a prosecutor to “do justice” in a plea bargaining context. Although the vast majority of criminal cases in the United States are resolved by guilty plea rather than by trial, ABA Model Rule 3.8, the special disciplinary rule applicable to prosecutors, has very little to say about plea bargaining. Scrutinizing the multiplicity of interests at stake in plea bargaining, the author suggests that a prosecutor’s primary objectives during negotiations should be efficiency, equality, autonomy, and transparency. After defining each of these terms, the author identifies several troublesome and recurring practices …