Title

The guilty plea discount: does pragmatism win over proportionality and principle?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Mackenzie, G 2007, 'The guilty plea discount: does pragmatism win over proportionality and principle?', Southern Cross University Law Review, vol. 11, pp. 205-223.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

A discount in sentencing quantum is routinely provided to defendants who plead guilty to offences. This article examines the reasons for such a discount, and argues that there is little appropriate justification; and further that it creates, in effect, a penalty for defendants who exercise their right to trial. It is further argued that the existence of such a discount can provide an inappropriate incentive to enter a guilty plea for defendants who may otherwise have had a valid reason for exercising their right to trial.