Resource Constraints and the Criminal Justice System: Evidence from Judicial Vacancies

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Resource Constraints and the Criminal Justice System: Evidence from Judicial Vacancies

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Title: Resource Constraints and the Criminal Justice System: Evidence from Judicial Vacancies
Author: Yang, Crystal Siming
Citation: Crystal S. Yang, Resource Constraints and the Criminal Justice System: Evidence from Judicial Vacancies (Harvard John M. Olin Discussion Paper Series Discussion Paper No. 820, Apr. 2015).
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Abstract: Ten percent of federal judgeships are currently vacant, yet little is known on the impact of these vacancies on criminal justice outcomes. Using judge deaths and pension eligibility as instruments for judicial vacancies, I find that prosecutors decline more cases during vacan- cies. Prosecuted defendants are more likely to plead guilty and less likely to be incarcerated, suggesting more favorable plea deals. The incarceration effects are larger among defendants represented by private counsel. These estimates imply that the current rate of vacancies has resulted in 1000 fewer prison inmates annually compared to a fully staffed court system, a 1.6 percent decrease.
Published Version: http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/olin_center/papers/pdf/Yang_821.pdf
Other Sources: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594019
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17915541
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