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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 17 No 1 (2000) Criminal Justice in Diverse Communities

Choice, Consent and Autonomy in a Guilty Plea System

Kathy Mack and Sharyn Roach Anleu

Mack and Anleu argue that the pre-trial procedures leading to a guilty plea need to make much greater allowance for the diversity of accused persons. Their study finds that the process presumes the accused person is knowledgeable, robust, assertive, and capable of making an autonomous and rational choice at particular points in the negotiation process. This occurs despite the fact that many accused are particularly vulnerable to pressures or inducements to plead guilty because they are young, working class, poorly educated, unemployed or Indigenous.

(1999) 17(1) Law in Context 75
Keywords: Criminal Procedure; Plea Bargaining

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