The Influence of Prosecutorial Style on Case Outcome in Two Rural Indiana Counties

Julie Estell, Indiana University

This paper will compare going rates established for plea agreements in two demographically similar rural counties in Indiana. The study will be concerned with two circuit courts of general jurisdiction, both under authority of judges that have occupied the bench in excess of twenty years. In addition, the prosecutor of each county has approximately the same number of deputies and has been elected to at least two terms, thereby giving them ample time to shape going rates. In order to evaluate the going rates for each county, a sample of criminal cases from each jurisdiction will be analyzed. Relevant control data, such as seriousness of the offense, prior record, and demographics will be collected on each case. This study will focus on how prosecutorial styles affect going rates and outcomes.

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Updated 05/20/2006