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Why do defendants ever plead guilty?

Detail Summary
Date 26 September 2011
Time 11:45 - 13:30

Why do defendants ever plead guilty?

At the beginning of a criminal trial, the defendant is asked to plead guilty or not guilty. This paper shows that the pleading decision serves as a signaling device. Guilty defendants to whom mitigating circumstances apply plead guilty, while innocent defendants and defendants to whom aggravating circumstances apply plead not guilty. With a view of imposing proper sentences, too many defendants may plead guilty. The reason is that the plea decision contains information about the proper sentence.

Personal page O.H. Swank

Paper Swank
Oudemanhuispoort
Oudemanhuispoort

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam

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