Plea Bargains In Criminal Law

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A “Plea bargain” is an agreement between the prosecutor, the defendant’s attorney and the defendant. In return for the defendant entering a plea of guilty to a criminal charge, the prosecutor agrees to recommend to the judge a particular penalty. Plea bargaining allows the prosecutor to obtain guilty pleas in cases that might otherwise go to trial. The prosecution is relieved of the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial and the defendant receives a specific resolution of the charges against him.
The volume of cases in the criminal justice system and the limited resources to prosecute cases in court have led to a growing use of plea bargains to resolve criminal cases. In 2011, 97% of federal criminal cases were resolved

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