Essay On Plea Bargaining

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Justice over Politics and Efficiency: The Case for the Abolition of Plea Bargaining
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson’s assessment of the justice system stands true to modern issues, especially the case of plea bargaining. Plea bargaining first entered the courts following the Civil War as the system met a large influx of cases, and it has managed to persist in modern times despite its antique ideals. Plea bargaining is the agreement between prosecutors and defendants to exchange a guilty plea for a reduced charge or sentence, and it currently is responsible for the resolution of 95% of all cases in the United States. The US justice system is purported to give a fair
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Trials take significantly more time and resources to undergo, so the plea bargain is often taken as the “easy way out.” Lindsey Devers’s research summary, “Plea and Charge Bargaining” (2011) which assesses the integral role plea bargains play in our system’s efficiency as well as the possible implications of its abolishment such as massive court clog, says otherwise. Devers summarizes a myriad of case studies which quantify the importance of plea bargaining which she turns into a potential impact analysis of the abolishment of plea bargaining. She cites the necessity of plea bargains due to their prevalence in our system, stating that “the overwhelming majority (90 to 95 percent) of cases result in plea bargaining.” This statistics defends the role that plea bargaining plays in our justice system in order to argue against the reformation of the system on the grounds of impracticality. The fear of the opposition is that by abolishing plea bargaining, the rate of efficiency would severely drop and result in considerable court clog. A lack of efficiency would disadvantage defendants by postponing their chance at justice and potentially leading to rushed and sloppy proceedings. However, there is a preponderance of solutions that could be posed in
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