As in real life, the Prisoners’ Dilemma described in the last lesson, is more complex than it seems. As in real life (not the movies) the police are not stupid either. They are also acutely aware of the game in which they are playing.
So the police do not allow the two prisoners to communicate with each other, they keep them locked-up and interrogate them separately.
During the interrogation, in order to get a confession, the police offer each separate prisoner the same deal.
The deal is this: the first prisoner who defects and who not only confesses to his part in the murder but who also becomes a witness for the prosecution and helps the police secure a conviction against the other prisoner will get a ‘plea bargain’ and will get ‘life’ not ‘death’. In other words, the first to defect will get life in jail leaving the other prisoner to get the electric chair.
This, more realistic version of events than the previous version, now presents the prisoners with a real dilemma.
• if both criminals shut up, they will get one year jail.
• if either criminal confesses, both men will be sentenced to death; but the first to confess will have his sentence commuted to life in jail.
What should the prisoners do?