Showing posts from May, 2012

Professor Dervan to Discuss Plea Bargaining on Public Radio International's "To the Point" with Warren Olney

On Friday, June 1, 2012, from 2:00-3:00pm eastern, Professor Dervan will discuss plea bargaining on Public Radio International's To the Point with Warren Olney.  Among other things, the show will discuss the case of Brian Banks  and plea bargaining's innocence problem. The show is syndicated nationally and available in many metropolitan markets.  Further, you can link to the show here .  At the show's website, you can access additional materials, listen to the show live, and link to a podcast of the show after the broadcast.

New Empirical Study Regarding Plea Bargaining's Innocence Problem

I just posted an article online regarding a new empirical study conducted by myself and Professor Vanessa Edkins that examines plea bargaining's innocence problem.  Below is an abstract of the piece, which is entitled The Innocent Defendant’s Dilemma: An Innovative Empirical Study of Plea Bargaining’s Innocence Problem.   You can access a free copy of the article here . Abstract In 1989, Ada JoAnn Taylor was accused of murder and presented with stark options. If she pleaded guilty, she would be rewarded with a sentence of ten to forty years in prison. If, however, she proceeded to trial and was convicted, she would likely spend the rest of her life behind bars. Over a thousand miles away in Florida and more than twenty years later, a college student was accused of cheating and presented with her own incentives to admit wrongdoing and save the university the time and expense of proceeding before a disciplinary review board. Both women decided the incentives were enticing

The Case of Brian Banks and Plea Bargaining's Innocence Problem

There has been much attention recently to the case of Brian Banks in California.  This is a fascinating example of the incentives created by sentencing differentials and the issue of plea bargaining's innocence problem.  Ten years ago, Banks faced a stark choice between proceeding to trial, which came with a probable sentence of 41 years to life in prison, or taking a plea deal, with a promised sentence of three years.  Like so many others and despite his innocence, Banks took the deal. From NPR: Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.  Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.Then Thursday, the California man's rape conviction was dismissed.   His accuser, who last year sent Banks a message on Facebook suggesting that they "let bygones be bygones," had been videot