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.
Please notice that 2011-2012 seminars will be held from 11:45 until 13:30 hours!