Blumstein and his associates (1983) suggested that the disproportionate number of young, black males in prison may be a result of cumulative, unwarranted disparate treatment. The current paper addresses one stage of this potential cumulative effect – namely, plea bargaining. There is a gap of the research on plea bargaining: outdated analyses, focused attention on processes rather than outcomes of plea bargaining decisions, and a lack of theoretical basis upon which to explain potential disparities. The current paper attempts to fill this research gap, integrating three theoretical perspectives – consensus/concessions theory, liberation hypothesis, and focal concerns theory – in an attempt to explain potential disparities in charge bargaining decisions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeremy_ball/10/