The Plea Bargain Analysis

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“95 percent of all convictions result from a guilty plea” according to the documentary called The Plea. One might ask, why there are so many guilty pleas? The answer lies in a criminal court system method called plea bargaining. After a prosecutor decides to file charges through an information or complaint, a defendant may face a plea bargain. A plea bargain is when a prosecutor offers a sentence bargain, when charges are lessened, or a charge bargain, when whole charges are dropped, for a guilty plea. Many people argue against plea bargaining; when in reality, it is a needed component for the functioning of the criminal justice system.

The overall process of plea bargaining has many players and components. The plea bargain process can begin …show more content…

If a defendant is truly innocent, then they have an undeniable right to a trial and a chance for acquittal through cross-examination of evidence and witnesses. As seen in Erma Faye Stewart’s case in The Plea, she claimed she was innocent but took the plea deal for a lesser sentence. The main prosecutorial witness in her case was found to be unreliable, which acquitted those who did not plea guilty, like Regina Kelley. Erma was still sentenced due to her guilty plea, but would have been acquitted if she had also been truthful in the court. This reveals not an issue of plea bargaining but of human nature. People fear pain, especially through incarceration, and may do whatever necessary to avoid said pain. The latter concept supports the argument by some that these pleas of guilt are coerced through threats of higher sentencing and pressuring lawyers. However, it still does not deny the fact that each individual must choose to plead guilty. Lying in court for a plea bargain is a risk that an individual takes for a reduced sentence. The system worked for Regina’s truthfulness and not for Erma’s

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