Sentencing the Self-Convicted: The Ethics of Pleading Guilty

Julian V. Roberts, Jesper Ryberg

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportAntologiForskningpeer review


This book addresses the fundamental ethical and legal aspects, penal consequences, and social context arising from a citizen's acceptance of guilt. The focus is upon sentencing people who have pleaded guilty; in short, post-adjudication, rather than issues arising from discussions in the pretrial phase of the criminal process.

The vast majority of defendants across all common law jurisdictions plead guilty and as a result receive a reduced sentence. Concessions by a defendant attract more lenient State punishment in all western legal systems. The concession is significant: At a stroke, a guilty plea relieves the State of the burden of proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and in open court. Plea-based sentencing has become even more visible in recent years.

The book provides insightful commentary on the following questions:
- If an individual voluntarily accepts guilt, should the State receive this plea without further investigation or any disinterested adjudication?
- Is it ethically acceptable to allow suspects and defendants, to self-convict in this manner, without independent confirmation and evidence to support a conviction?
- If it is acceptable, what is the appropriate State response to such offenders?
- If the defendant is detained pretrial, the ability to secure release in return for a plea may be particularly enticing. Might it be too enticing, resulting in wrongful convictions?
ForlagHart Publishing
Antal sider256
ISBN (Trykt)9781509957439
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781509957453, 9781509957446
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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