1992, Walter John Raymond, Dictionary of Politics: Selected American and Foreign Political and Legal Terms, Brunswick Publishing Corporation, →ISBN, page 9:
Alford Plea. A plea under which a defendant may choose to plead guilty, not because of an admission to the crime, but because the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to place a charge and to obtain conviction in court. The plea is commonly used in local and state courts in the United States.
Alford plea. A guilty plea entered as part of a plea bargain by a criminal defendant who denies committing the crime or who does not actually admit his guilt. In federal courts, such plea may be accepted as long as there is evidence that the defendant is actually guilty. Named after North Carolina v. Alford (1970.)