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A System of Pleas – Social Sciences Contributions to the Real Legal System - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A System of Pleas: Social Sciences Contributions to the Real Legal System

Vanessa A. Edkins and Allison D. Redlich


The title of this work references a majority opinion from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy noting that the U.S. criminal justice system is no longer focused on trials but has become a system of pleas; that the system’s processes and protections need to adapt from trial protections to plea protections. Social science research likewise needs to expand beyond the courtroom and the jury room to address the multitude of factors involved in plea decisions and the influences at work on the various legal-system players (e.g., defendants, defense attorneys, prosecutors). This work is both a culmin ... More

Keywords: plea bargaining, shadow of trial, collateral consequences, race, pretrial detention, juvenile justice, attorney decision-making, prosecutor decision-making, defendant decision-making, system of pleas

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190689247
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190689247.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Vanessa A. Edkins, editor
Associate Professor of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology

Allison D. Redlich, editor
Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

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Vanessa A. Edkins and Allison D. Redlich

Section 1 The System of Pleas and Its Players

Section 2 Influences on Plea Decision-Making

5 Race and Plea Bargaining

Brian D. Johnson and Rebecca Richardson

6 Juvenile Justice and Plea Bargaining

Allison D. Redlich, Tina Zottoli, and Tarika Daftary-Kapur

7 Innocence and Plea Bargaining

Miko M. Wilford and Annmarie Khairalla

Section 3 Results of a System of Pleas


Allison D. Redlich and Vanessa A. Edkins

End Matter