Criminal Justice-COAS | Pleas, Trials, and Sentences
P450 | 1549 | Luskin
This seminar examines trials and pleas and their relation to one
another in the disposition of criminal cases. We shall consider the
place of the trial in the adversary system and the role of the jury,
including its selection, performance, and impact. We will then turn
our attention to plea negotiations -- the origins and rise of the
practice, its nature, and its consequences for individuals and
society. We shall consider also the desirability and feasibility of
bench trials as alternatives to plea negotiations. Comparisons to
practice in Continental and other legal systems will be made.
Readings include :
Abramson, Jeffrey. 2000. We, the Jury; The Jury System and the
Democratic Ideal. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Fisher, George. 2000. “Plea Bargaining’s Triumph.” Yale Law Journal
Landsman, Stephan. 1988. “Introduction to the Adversary System.” In
Readings on Adversarial Justice: The American Approach to
Adjudication, ed. Stephan Landsman, Section of Litigation American
Bar Association. American Casebook Series. St. Paul, Minnesota: West
Nardulli, Peter F., Roy B. Flemming, and James Eisenstein.
1985. “Criminal Courts and Bureaucratic Justice: Concessions and
Consensus in the Guilty Plea Process.” Journal of Criminal Law and
Spohn, Cassia C. 2002. How do Judges Decide? Thousand Oaks,
California: Sage Publications.
Requirements: Class sessions will include short lectures,
discussions, and in-class exercises. Students will be given practice
in drawing implications from what they read, marshaling evidence, and
presenting arguments. I expect students to attend class and to
participate in discussions.
Class Meeting: 5:45-8:15P, T, SY 210
Instructor: Mary Lee Luskin, criminal justice department