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Coercion to CompromisePlea Bargaining, the Courts, and the Making of Political Authority$
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Mary E. Vogel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195101751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195101751.001.0001

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(p.324) (p.325) Conclusion
Coercion to Compromise

Mary E. Vogel

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter sums up the key finding of this study on the history of plea bargaining. The result indicates that plea bargaining emerged in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1830s and 1840s as part of a political struggle to stabilize and legitimate newly established democratic institutions. The Bostonians' reworked elements of episodic leniency created a legal practice, known as plea bargaining, that constituted a new legal and political form for an age of popular politics. The chapter also discusses the political and legal implications of plea bargaining. These include the emergence of a powerful system of social control, the reassertion of a kind of secular community, and the creation of links between the courts and employers that reinforced the workplace as a central element of societal social control.

Keywords:   plea bargaining, Boston, Massachusetts, political struggle, democratic institutions, episodic leniency, popular politics, social control, secular community, workplace

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