1980s Sentencing Reform and Its Impact on Federal Plea Bargaining and the Trial Penalty
Reprinted with permission from Federal Sentencing Reporter, April/June 2019
In brief, the conventional wisdom that parties to a transaction "bargain" toward resolution is severely undermined when one party—by explicit design—may exact tremendous leverage over the other. As discussed below, although the 1980s reform efforts may have sought to achieve, among other things, parity among similarly situated defendants, they have in fact done just the opposite, at least insofar as concerns the gross divergence among sentences for defendants who plead guilty and those convicted after trial. Read More.
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