The Unusual Man in the Usual Place

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In The Unusual Man in the Usual Place, Professor Bowers supports his argument from Punishing the Innocent by individually addressing each of the responses to his article in turn. Bowers begins by arguing that, while Professor Bibas would be right to view guilty pleas by innocent defendants as a "moral horrors" in a "well-functioning and transparent criminal justice system," we do not have such a system. Under the flawed system we do have, however, Bowers contends that his proposal would promote "an odd, but very real, kind of honesty in lies—an honesty that innocent defendants do, and often should, falsely admit guilt in order to secure the benefits of defendant-favorable pleas." Bowers then questions both the possibility and the wisdom of the "bold proposal" in Professor Thomas’ response. He asserts that although Thomas "surely does not want to engender more false guilty pleas, his proposal may have that principle effect." Finally, Bowers acknowledges that Professor Wright’s call for targeted reforms may be correct, but argues that in regards to "voluntary and intelligent rational-choice pleas, we must opt for rules that either permit such pleas or forbid them—categorically."

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