CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bowers on how Lafler and Frye help the government

Bowers joshJosh Bowers (University of Virginia School of Law) has posted Lafler, Frye, and the Subtle Art of Winning by Losing (Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 126-130, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In its recent decisions, Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, the Court recognized defendants’ rights to effective assistance of plea-bargaining counsel. Counter-intuitively, however, it is the government that may come to benefit most from the Court’s rulings against it, not only because a well-regulated plea-bargaining market facilitates frequent and expeditious plea deals, but also because prosecutors exercise terrific control over that market. Indeed, by making plea offers that are too attractive to reasonably refuse, prosecutors may constitutionally conscript defense counsel to persuade defendants to plead guilty. Moreover, prosecutors shape the practice norms against which the competency of bargaining counsel is now measured.

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