Advantages And Disadvantages Of Plea Bargaining

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Plea bargaining

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Trial by a jury was intended as a truth seeking mechanism, a means of achieving fairness and a way to hold the government to the principles of the constitution. The Sixth Amendment of the constitution guarantees the right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. It gives the defendant a right to challenge evidence presented by the government and provides for a conviction only if an impartial jury finds the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Despite the right to a fair trial, the criminal justice system is largely a system of plea-bargaining with the outcome being decided by the prosecutor (Bibas, 2004). This paper will look at the use of plea bargaining in the criminal justice system. In doing this, the paper will look at court decisions on the use of plea bargaining, its constitutionality, arguments against its use as well as the advantages and disadvantages of plea bargaining.
Plea bargaining is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in a criminal case. The defendant pleads guilty to a particular charge in turn for concession from the prosecutor. The defendant will often plead guilty to a less serious charge or to a single of several charges in return for dismissal of the other charges. The defendant may also plead guilty to the original charge but in return for a lenient sentence. It allows the parties in the case to avoid lengthy trials and may allow the defendant to avoid the risk of

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