3 years ago

The psychology of defendant plea decision making.

Edkins VA, Bibas S, Madon S, Redlich AD
Every day, thousands of defendants, prosecutors, and defense attorneys must make guilty plea decisions, such as whether to accept a plea offer or proceed to trial. Most defendants opt to plead guilty; approximately 95% of state and federal convictions result from guilty pleas. In light of a newly emerging body of research and recent Supreme Court decisions on guilty pleas, this article asks and answers 2 questions: First, who pleads guilty and why? We describe the characteristics of those who are more or less likely to plead guilty, and examine the reasons why individuals plead guilty instead of proceeding to trial, exploring the cognitive, social influence, and developmental factors that underlie decision making. Second, are defendants' plea decisions valid, in that the decisions are made knowingly, intelligently, voluntarily, and with a factual basis of guilt? That is, do defendants who plead guilty understand and appreciate the conditions and consequences of their pleas, as required by law? Are innocent people induced to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit? We conclude with suggestions to move the field of plea research forward. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28481581

DOI: PubMed:28481581

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.