The Economics of plea-bargaining and settlement: an investigation into the factors that affect one's decision in today's court system
Burns, James C.
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This paper is a thorough investigation into the literature on the economics of pleabargaining and the settlement process. An investigation of this topic is justified through current statistical data on the substantial growth of the lawsuit industry and its effects on small businesses as well as the United States as a whole. The body of this paper is built off of Wtlliam Landes' criminal case model established in 1971, and John Gould's civil suit model established in 1973. The factors affecting the prosecution, in criminal cases, the plaintiff, in civil cases, and the defense, in both civil and criminal are the primary analysis of this paper. Some of these factors include: how averse to risk one is, the amount of resources one has, wealth, the bail system, the judicial review mechanism, and pre-trial sanctions. This paper establishes that there have been numerous models founded in the past 33 years pertaining to plea-bargaining and settlement issues, and that these models are essential to anyone making the decision to settle or go to trial.