Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department/Program

Psychology

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Tina M. Zottoli

Committee Member

Jeremy Fox

Committee Member

Christopher King

Subject(s)

Plea bargaining--United States--Decision making, Administration of Justice--United States--Psychological aspects

Abstract

Despite its popular use in the U.S. legal system, research on plea bargaining and the factors that affect plea bargain decision-making is limited. Although it has been argued that plea bargaining is necessary to the efficiency of the courts (Williams-Fisher, 2005), critics of the practice argue that offers of leniency relative to the threat of the trial penalty may be coercive, so much so that even innocent defendants can be compelled to plead guilty (Bibas, 2004; Givelber, 1996). Others have argued that defendants are at a disadvantage in the negotiations because they are rarely privy to the evidence held by the prosecutor (Meyn, 2014). This study found that trial penalty, evidence strength, and guilt all had an impact on the likelihood to accept the plea. Furthermore, it sheds light on the different ways that guilty and innocent participants make plea deal decisions.

File Format

PDF

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS