La conformidad en España: predictores e impacto en la penalidad

Plea bargaining is becoming the most common ending to criminal proceedings around the globe. However, international literature has extensively documented the problems posed by this system, particularly the excessive power it confers on the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the fact it is often applied unequally, and even the increased likelihood of punishing innocent people. In our country, despite the fact most criminal proceedings end with a plea deal, there is no empirical research on the practical application of plea bargains and the problems it entails. This paper aims to begin to fill this gap by presenting the first empirical data on plea bargaining in criminal courts and the consequences for punishment in Spain. Our results show that certain characteristics of the defendant are associated with agreeing a plea bargain (in particular, foreigners have a significantly lower rate of accepting a plea), and that the defendant’s refusal to plea has a relevant impact on the execution of the prison sentence (in particular, those who plead are more likely to have their prison sentence suspended or substituted) ​
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