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Research conducted on the decision points between arrest and sentencing is scarce. The current study attempts to fill this gap by focusing on plea negotiations, examining the effects of individual characteristics on plea bargaining decisions by using two dependent variables – a two-category dependent variable analyzing negotiated pleas vs. non-negotiated pleas and a three-category dependent variable analyzing negotiated pleas, non-negotiated pleas, and bench/jury trial convictions. The results from the multinomial logistic regression indicate that individual characteristics are predictors of negotiated guilty pleas compared to a trial conviction. Black offenders were more likely than white offenders to have their case go to trial rather than straight pleading or negotiating a guilty plea.

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This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice © 2008 Taylor & Francis. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice is available online at: DOI: 10.1300/J222v05n04_03

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