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Why do defendants ever plead guilty?

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

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.

Oudemanhuispoort

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam

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