CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Givati on Social Values and Plea Bargaining Regimes

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law) has posted Legal Institutions and Social Values: Theory and Evidence from Plea Bargaining Regimes (Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

How do social values shape legal institutions across countries? To address this question I focus on one important legal institution -- the use of plea bargaining in criminal cases. I develop a model in which the optimal scope of plea bargaining depends on social values. Specifically, a lower social emphasis on ensuring that innocent individuals are not punished, and a greater social emphasis on ensuring that guilty individuals are punished, lead to a greater use of plea bargaining. Using unique cross-country data on social preferences for punishing the innocent versus letting the guilty go free, as well as an original coding of plea bargaining regimes across countries, I obtain results that are consistent with the model.

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