January 2015
    Law No.: LAW7608
    Sched. No.: 115110018

Plea Bargaining (Sc)
Section 1
Bowers, Josh

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):MTWRF, 0930-1200 (WB121)
Capacity:18 **This information is current as of 05/29/2015 06:15:08 AM**
Current Enrollment:18 **This information is current as of 05/29/2015 06:15:08 AM**
Syllabus: View Syllabus (requires LawWeb account)

Course Description:

This January term course meets Monday-Friday, January 12-16.

This short course will focus on plea bargaining and the guilty plea system. In modern America, the criminal trial is a rarity. In some jurisdictions, it is practically nonexistent. Instead, almost all cases are resolved by guilty pleas, typically entered into after some form of plea bargaining. We will survey the variety of practices collectively defined as plea bargaining. We will discuss plea bargaining’s perceived advantages and disadvantages: whether, on the one hand, it unduly sacrifices accuracy and formality for the good of expediency; or, on the other hand, whether it facilitates compromise in arenas where adversarial heavy combat is less than optimal. We will explore the degree to which plea bargaining has affected the roles and responsibilities of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys; and we will examine the different contexts in which these changes make more or less sense. Additionally, we will analyze whether plea bargains successfully reflect probable trial outcomes, or, instead, whether cognitive biases and institutional arrangements and pressures lead parties to reach agreements outside the shadow of law and trial. Finally, we will evaluate the adequacy of efforts to regulate, reform, and/or abolish plea bargaining. The grade will be based on short analysis papers and class participation.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Attendance at all class sessions is required. Enrolled students who do not attend the first class session will be dropped. Students seeking to enroll in this J-term course must attend the first class session.
COURSE REQUIREMENT: Short analysis papers and class participation