Pros And Cons Of Plea Bargaining

1023 Words5 Pages

A topic such as a plea bargain has many supporters and opponents. Because "plea bargaining is responsible for 97 percent of federal felony convictions" (Lat), it is an essential topic to research and discover whether or not it should remain in place and the impact it has already had on the judicial system. But first, what is "plea bargaining?" Plea bargaining is when a defendant is at risk of high sentencing or punishment but is faced "with an opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge or the original charge with less than the maximum sentence" (Dever). The charge given to the defendant, in theory, limits the penalties faced if the defendant decides to go to trial. Even though being found innocent is the best possible outcome for someone …show more content…

Those who support plea bargaining say the greatest benefit of plea bargaining "is the savings in time and expense to the parties, the court, and the public" (Plea Bargaining). Another benefit claimed by those who are in favor of plea bargaining is "that docket pressures are too great and that prosecutors lack the time to pursue all indictments because there are simply too many" (Dever). Plea bargains aren’t perfect, though. In addition to these advantages, there are exploitations in the process that usually harm the defendant. The opponents of plea bargaining state that "the process may result in waivers by defendants of their constitutional rights, unequal representation by counsel, the threat of unequal sentencing, and the possibility that guilty pleas will be entered by innocent defendants" (Plea Bargaining). With all this being said, plea bargaining isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of whether "some plea bargains are unfair, but a fair plea agreement is constitutionally sound" (Lat). Because it's important to the criminal justice system, plea bargaining is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean it can’t and shouldn’t be changed for the betterment of all …show more content…

If prosecutors were given less power, judges and defendants would be able to achieve "more of a balance of power among all legal participants" (Devers). Furthermore, many states have already implemented multiple diversion programs; "these programs remove less serious criminal matters from the full, formal procedures of the justice system" (Law). People who choose to participate in these programs have a better chance of completing their probation and having their charges

More about Pros And Cons Of Plea Bargaining

Open Document