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The Emergent Organization of Plea Bargaining

John F. Padgett
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 90, No. 4 (Jan., 1985), pp. 753-800
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2779518
Page Count: 48
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The Emergent Organization of Plea Bargaining
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Abstract

This article analyzes four systems of plea bargaining within American criminal courts. These systems are examples of centralized authority, centralized contract, delegated authority, and delegated contract. The guiding questions are: Why do informal role structures emerge in organizations? How are such role adaptations shaped by the formal structures they subvert? Stochastic models based on the existing research literature are developed to derive numerous empirical predictions about why different U.S. cities have different plea bargaining systems.

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