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Fairness And The Willingness To Accept Plea Bargain Offers, Avishalom Tor Jan 2010

Fairness And The Willingness To Accept Plea Bargain Offers, Avishalom Tor

Journal Articles

In contrast with the common assumption in the plea bargaining literature, we show fairness-related concerns systematically impact defendants' preferences and judgments. In the domain of preference, innocents are less willing to accept plea offers (WTAP) than guilty defendants and all defendants reject otherwise attractive offers that appear comparatively unfair. We also show that defendants who are uncertain of their culpability exhibit egocentrically biased judgments and reject plea offers as if they were innocent. The article concludes by briefly discussing the normative implications of these findings.