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The Ethics of Plea Bargaining - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Ethics of Plea Bargaining

Richard L. Lippke


The Ethics of Plea Bargaining offers a sustained argument for restrained forms of plea bargaining and against the freewheeling kinds of it that predominate in the United States. Rewards for admitting guilt are distinguished from penalties for exercising the right to trial. The latter appear in numerous guises and are shown to be indefensible. Modest and fixed sentence reductions for defendants who admit their guilt are urged. Deliberate overcharging by prosecutors and charge bargaining, it is argued, should be discouraged. Claims that large and variable charge and sentence reducti ... More

Keywords: plea bargaining, trial penalties, overcharging, sentence reductions, charge bargaining, legal punishment, overcriminalization, deserved sentences, crime reduction, freedom of contract

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199641468
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641468.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard L. Lippke, author
Senior Scholar, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University