Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Article - Plea Bargaining's Survival: Financial Crimes Plea Bargaining, a Continued Triumph in a Post-Enron World

Welcome to The Plea Bargaining Blog. My hope is that this blog will serve as a resource for scholarship, articles and news about plea bargaining in the United States and around the world. For my first posting, I would like to provide information about my new article regarding plea bargaining in financial crimes cases after the collapse of Enron.  The article, entitled "Plea Bargaining's Survival: Financial Crimes Plea Bargaining, a Continued Triumph in a Post-Enron World," appears in the Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Fall 2007).  

The article examines the war on financial crimes that began after the collapse of Enron in 2001. Although many believed that the reforms implemented following this scandal led to greater prosecutorial focus on financial crimes and longer prison sentences, an analysis of data from 1995 through 2006 reveals that little has actually changed. The statistics demonstrate that the government's focus on financial crimes has not increased and prison sentences for fraud have remained stagnant. How could this be the case? I argue that although prosecutors could have chosen to use new statutes and amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines passed in the wake of Enron to increase prosecutions and sentences, they did not. Instead, prosecutors are using their new tools to encourage defendants to accept plea agreements that include sentences similar to those offered before 2001, while simultaneously threatening to use these same powers to secure astounding sentences if defendants force a trial. The result is that the promises of post-Enron reforms aimed at financial criminals were hollow and served only to reinforce plea bargaining's triumph.

A copy of the article can be downloaded here - http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1135670

No comments: