Plea Bargaining In Criminal Cases

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In the United States court system, many criminal cases are not resolved in a timely manner. One of the more common ways in which many cases are resolved quickly is through plea bargaining. Plea bargaining is defined as an agreement between defense attorneys and prosecutors. (Spohn & Hemmens, 2012) Alschuler (1979) describes plea bargaining as the self-conviction act of a defendant. Today, approximately ninety percent of defendants plead guilty because of plea bargaining. The defendants utilize plea bargaining rather than continuing to the trial process. (Alschuler, 1979)
There are two different types of plea bargains used in our court system; charge bargaining and sentence bargaining. The first type, a charge bargain, involves a guilty plea in exchange for a less severe charge. For example, John Doe is charged with rape, but pleads guilty to sexual assault. The second type is called sentence bargaining. Sentence bargaining involves the prosecutor recommending leniency during the sentencing stage. For example, Craig pleads guilty to a misdemeanor petty theft. The prosecutor would likely recommend no jail time for the defendant. (Spohn & Hemmens, 2012) These two …show more content…

Today, many criminal cases are solved through the utilization of plea bargaining. If a defendant does not or cannot utilize this practice, the case will continue through the trial and adjudication processes. There are many factors that are involved in the process of plea bargaining. If the evidence for a case is not sufficient, a plea bargain may not be used. Our court system also uses two different types of plea bargains; charge and sentence bargaining. While these types of plea bargains seem similar, they have slightly different functions. Charge bargaining allows the defendant to be granted a less severe charge for his or her crime. Sentence bargaining allows the possibility of no jail time or perhaps a shorter

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