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Pleading guilty: why vulnerability matters

Peay, Jill and Player, Elaine (2018) Pleading guilty: why vulnerability matters. Modern Law Review, 81 (6). 929 – 957. ISSN 0026-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2230.12374


This article examines the recent Sentencing Council’s definitive guideline on what reductions in sentence can be offered for a guilty plea. We argue that its emphasis on facilitating early guilty pleas represents more than just an incentive to those intending to plead guilty and poses significant risks for defendants with vulnerabilities. The article questions whether the guideline can amount to an inducement to plead guilty which places uneven burdens on defendants and fails to pay due regard to the duties owed by public authorities under the Equality Act 2010. In so doing it asks questions about the integrity of the criminal justice process and argues that issues of cost-efficiency and the constructed interests of victims may have outweighed both the rights of those with vulnerabilities and the objectives of the legislative framework designed to protect them. The issues it raises are universally relevant to any system that favours defendants who offer guilty pleas.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2018 The Modern Law Review Limited
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:26

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