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A System of Pleas: Social Sciences Contributions to the Real Legal System
Edited by Vanessa A. Edkins and Allison D. Redlich
Oxford University Press / Softcover / Mar 2019
9780190689247 (ISBN-10: 0190689242)
price: $67.95 (may be subject to change)
224 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

Over 95% of criminal convictions are by guilty plea. Trials are the rarity, and while much has been written on jury decision making and various parts of the trial process, the field has been largely silent on the practice that is most likely to affect an individual charged with a crime: plea bargaining.

A System of Pleas: Social Science's Contributions to the Real Legal System brings together into one resource the burgeoning body of research on plea bargaining. Drawing attention to the fact that convictions today are nearly synonymous with guilty pleas, this contributed volume begins with an overview and history of plea bargaining, with chapters focusing on defendants, defense attorneys and prosecutors and plea bargains; influences on plea decision-making, including race, juvenile justice system involvement, and innocence; and the results of a "system of pleas", such as sentencing disparities and mass incarceration, collateral consequences, and disenfranchisement. A concluding chapter by the volume's editors examines ways to move forward within an entrenched system. An excellent reference tool for furthering both research and practice, A System of Pleas is a must-have for academics and legal professionals interested in the fields of criminal justice, psychology and law, and related disciplines.

• Summarizes the current state of plea bargaining research
• Guides readers through the plea bargaining process, outlining the psychological, economical, and sociological considerations at each step
• Offers proposed policy changes

Table of Contents:

About the Contributors

Introduction: A System of Pleas
Vanessa A. Edkins and Allison D. Redlich

Section 1: The System of Pleas and its Players

Chapter 1: Arriving at a System of Pleas: The History and State of Plea Bargaining
Lucian E. Dervan

Chapter 2: Defendant Decision Making in Plea Bargains
Shawn D. Bushway

Chapter 3: Defense Attorneys and Plea Bargains
Kelsey S. Henderson

Chapter 4: Prosecutors and Plea Bargains
Bryan C. McCannon

Section 2: Influences on Plea Decision-Making

Chapter 5: Race and Plea Bargaining
Brian D. Johnson and Rebecca Richardson

Chapter 6: Juvenile Justice and Plea Bargaining
Allison D. Redlich, Tina Zottoli, and Tarika Daftury-Kapur

Chapter 7: Innocence and Plea Bargaining
Miko M. Wilford and Annmarie Khairalla

Section 3: Results of a System of Pleas

Chapter 8: Sentencing Disparity and Mass Incarceration
Rhys Hester

Chapter 9: Collateral Consequences and Disenfranchisement
Vanessa A. Edkins

Conclusion: Moving Forward in a System of Pleas
Allison D. Redlich and Vanessa A. Edkins

About the Editors:

Vanessa A. Edkins is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Florida Institute of Technology. Her research has been published in Law and Human Behavior, and Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Her work has also received coverage in the Wall Street Journal and The Economist.

Allison D. Redlich is a Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University. The author/editor of five books, she is an internationally recognized expert on confessions and interrogations, guilty pleas, and mental health courts, and publishes extensively in these areas.


Shawn D. Bushway
Tarika Daftary-Kapur
Lucian E. Dervan
Vanessa A. Edkins
Kelsey S. Henderson
Rhys Hester
Brian D. Johnson
Annmarie Khairalla
Bryan C. McCannon
Rebecca Richardson
Miko M. Wilford
Tina Zottoli

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