Plea Bargaining In The Criminal Justice System

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Although the Criminal Justice system is supposed to protect and help the community through its services, not all groups in society have proportionate access to these services. It is particularly the minority groups that suffer these consequences due to their race, class, or gender. A such matter that these groups are subjective to is the plea-bargaining process. While the plea-bargaining process is supposed to help the system, it begins to cause more problems for the public. A plea bargain occurs when the defendant of a crime and the prosecutor create a deal in which the defendant accepts to plead guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Plea bargains are important in the Criminal Justice system because most court cases are resolved…show more content…
For example, offenders who cannot afford to post bail, have a family to go back to, or may have a prejudice jury due to their race may accept the plea whether they are guilty or not. By accepting the plea willingly, they are giving up their 6th amendment right of right to a fair trial. Not only is it a problem for innocent, it is also a problem for the public. When a person is guilty of a crime, the plea given lets the criminal back out into the streets with the risk of that crime continuing. This process needs to be altered so where people of certain class or race will not feel subjective and helpless to the process. In the Yale Law Journal: Plea Bargain as Disaster , author Schulhofer explains the disadvantages of the plea-bargaining process. The article is focused around the concept of separating the innocent from the guilty. Schulhofer recognizes that abolishing this process would only cause more problems for the system, so instead he analyzes how reforming the process would be more beneficial to both the system and the public. It is important to consider reforming the process in terms of system because there would be a clearer idea of what crimes are permitted to have pleas and which are…show more content…
“Convictions generated through plea bargaining are less related to the evidence, and, hence, to actual guilt, than convictions generated by trial” (GilChrist). This serves as an injustice to society because the plea has no restrictions or prerequisites. In order to reform the policy, the article suggest that plea bargains must have some type of evidence of actual guilt before the plea can be given so it will not put those who are innocent in the same category of those who are truly guilty. Allowing the innocent to believe they stand a chance in a trial is important. “Compelling the innocent to lie in order to secure the benefit of a plea bargain further undermines the perceived integrity of the legal system by denying the defendant of a meaningful opportunity to be heard” (GilChrist). If this idea or feeling of coercion is stripped away, then we could see less innocent people accepting pleas. The informality of plea bargains a major controversy due to the lack of liability. “Plea negotiations often begin as soon as the defendant is charged. . .The defendant and the prosecutor generally handle the initial negotiating in which requires no structure. . . these meetings can occur in the hallway of a court house” (Welling, 314). This can serve as an injustice to the defendant because they may not fully comprehend what they are agreeing to under a short amount of

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