The Plea Bargaining Institute is a groundbreaking project that will provide a global intellectual home for academics, policymakers, advocacy organizations, and practitioners working in the plea bargaining space to share knowledge and collaborate.
The Plea Bargaining Institute is excited to announce its new website launching in the Fall of 2023! The site will further the below mission of the Institute and be a first-in-class resource on plea bargaining, and its use in the criminal system. Please check back for updates.
The Plea Bargaining Institute (PBI) has been established to provide a global intellectual home for researchers, practitioners, and policy advocates to share knowledge and promote collaboration related to plea bargaining and its role in criminal processes. The PBI will aggregate, digest, disseminate and solicit research and analysis that will enable those working to reform plea bargaining to shape laws, change policy, and transform practice in the United States and internationally. The PBI will promote knowledge sharing and create opportunities for dialogue that will inspire new and innovative research. The PBI will also engage in training to foment sustained approaches to limit coercive waivers.
To advance its mission, PBI will:
Publish summaries of research and case law developments in the plea bargaining field on its website and in an annual report. This will give practitioners, policymakers, and advocacy organizations access to the wealth of data and research being produced across a host of disciplines each year in a manageable and accessible format. Similarly, they will gain access to information and developments in plea bargaining case law on an annual basis to assist them in their work and advocacy.
Create working groups for academics, policymakers, advocacy organizations, and practitioners to share knowledge and create opportunities for dialogue.
Convene an annual symposium at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee. This event will allow researchers to hear from practitioners, policymakers, and advocacy organizations to learn what new areas of research are necessary to support the work of these groups in bringing attention and reform to the plea bargaining system both in the United States and around the world. This event will also allow researchers to share their latest findings with practitioners, policymakers, and advocacy organizations for use in their work and advocacy.
The PBI was the vision of Lucian Dervan, Professor of Law and Director of Criminal Justice Studies at Belmont University College of Law, and is a partnership with the preeminent organization for the criminal defense bar the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Professor Lucian E. Dervan is the Founding Director of the PBI, overseeing its operation along with NACDL.
If you are a journalist who would like to know more about the PBI, contact [email protected]
If you are an academic, researcher, practitioner, advocate, or policymaker who would like to know more or get involved with the PBI, please contact:
Nathan Pysno, Director of Economic Crime & Procedural Justice at NACDL: [email protected]
Lucian E. Dervan, Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Studies at Belmont College of Law: [email protected]
The PBI is led by Professor Lucian E. Dervan, Professor of Law and Director of Criminal Justice Studies at Belmont University College of Law. As a leading global researcher regarding plea bargaining and the phenomenon of false pleas of guilty, he has devoted his career to reforming the plea bargaining system in the United States and around the world.
Nathan Pysno is Director of Economic Crime & Procedural Justice at NACDL. He leads NACDL’s policy work on a wide variety of issues including, the trial penalty, plea bargaining, discovery, white collar crime, overcriminalization, and mens rea. He is a frequent writer, speaker, and lobbyist on criminal legal system reform issues.
Our prestigious Board of Advisors will help influence and shape the work of the PBI. It comprises practitioners, academics from various disciplines, policy advocates, and impacted persons.
Rebecca Brown, Founder, Maat Strategies, LLC
Cynthia Jones, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University
Abbe David Lowell, Defense Lawyer, Winston & Strawn
Vanessa Potkin, Director of Special Litigation, The Innocence Project
Allison Redlich, University Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University
Jenny Roberts, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University
Rodney Roberts, Activist and exoneree
Cynthia Roseberry, Acting Director, ACLU Justice Division, ACLU
Martin Sabelli, Defense Lawyer, Law Offices of Martin A. Sabelli, and Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Regent of the National Criminal Defense College
Rebecca Shaeffer, Former Legal Director, Fair Trials Americas
Abbe Smith, Director, Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center
Norm Reimer, Defense Lawyer, Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, PC, and Immediate Past Global CEO of Fair Trials and former Executive Director of NACDL