112 Heike Jung1 Plea Bargaining and its Repercussions on the Theory of Criminal Procedure 1. INTRODUCTION Criminal procedures seem to have been afflicted by a lingering disease; the US infection of plea bargaining. This has not been a sudden attack, but a gradual development which has taken place over some years. In 1977, the German sociologist Schumann analysed and criticized US-American procedural practices in his book 'Der Handel mit der Gerechtig- keit.,2 This work was quite well received at least in German academic circles. It could not, however, prevent elements of negotiation creeping into the daily routine of German criminal procedure, in particular in the aftermath of the 1975 partial procedural reform. In 1988, the new Italian law of procedure made a 'revolutionary' step, legalizing 'negotiation' to the ex- tent that 'patteggiamento' has now become the trademark of the new procedure. (This collo- quial label stands for a procedure which allows the handing down of a sentence at the request of the parties.) In addition, there is the `giudizio abbreviato'. This appears at first sight to be an agreement of procedural relevance only. The accused, however, benefits from a consider- able reduction of punishment (one third).3 Thus, the
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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