The Pros and Cons of Plea Bargaining Disclaimer By: LawInfo When faced with criminal charges, a defendant often has one simple goal. That is, to minimize the potential penalty. Of course, being found innocent at trial, and being aquitted, is the best way to avoid jail time and other penalties. However, going to trial can be risky because it is impossible to predict what a jury will decide. Therefore, many defendants choose to enter a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution. What is Plea Bargaining? A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in a criminal case. The prosecutor gives the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to the original charge with less than the maximum sentence. For example, the prosecution and the defense may agree to a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony charge or the parties may agree to a sentence of 12 years instead of 20 years if the recommended sentence for that crime is 10-20 years imprisonment. …show more content…
Both sides will carefully weigh the strength of their case and decide whether it is prudent to go to trial. The prosecution may also consider the publicity surrounding the case and whether there is public pressure to prosecute that particular defendant to the full extent of the law. The defense will consider the individual defendant’s desire to go to trial and the seriousness of the potential sentence. The Pros of Plea Bargaining For the defendant, the most significant benefit to plea bargaining is to take away the uncertainty of a criminal trial and to avoid the maximum sentence. Society also benefits from plea bargaining since the agreements lessen court congestion and free up prosecutors to handle more cases. The Cons of Plea
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There are many issues associated with plea bargaining. The accused could benefit with the possibility of a reduced or combined charges, reduced attorney fees, and the chance of a reduced or shorter sentence that may be imposed by going to trial. Plea bargaining can also give the prosecutors the ability to convict the accused even if they have a weak case and there is question whether or not they can get a conviction. It also will save time and resources necessary for trial. This will apply to defense attorneys as well, they may be unsure of their ability to get an acquittal for their client; however, in some cases the accused many know in his heart that he is innocent and want to go to trial.
At this time the defendant will be informed of his or her rights. The defendant will then plead guilty or not guilty. Depending on the plea, it is undetermined if the trial will continue. Heather Raftery and Jason Darley, her lawyer, declare to the judge with a plea of not guilty. Climatically resulting in the trial to continue and further investigation of the case.
If there wasn't any plea bargaining, courts would be overcrowded and forced to be shut down. It is an advantage for the defense since it will be less work required on their part (Tapscott, 2017). Because plea bargains are much quicker and require less work, it keeps the cases moving and courtrooms unclogged. This works for both prosecutor and defendant since the case would close quickly allowing them to move on to bigger, serious cases. The benefit of agreeing to a plea bargain is that it de clogs the courts and the overcrowded jails.
PLEA BARGAINING Plea bargaining is a process of negotiation and results in a plea agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor for lesser charges. Basically, plea bargaining circumvents the trial process by evading more serious charges. About 97% of federal cases and 94% of state cases are disposed of by this method without ever going to trial. There can be advantages and disadvantages to this.
A plea bargain is an optional agreement that occurs during a criminal case between a prosecutor and defendant. These agreements are options for the defendant to take rather than taking their case to trial. Ninety-seven percent of all federal cases and ninety-four of all state cases are all settled by plea bargains() Plea bargaining has become a normal process when it comes to court cases. Although every individual has their own beliefs, plea bargaining helps out our criminal justice system but in contrast it is taking away from the value of the criminal justice system. Just like in every story we are faced with two different sides a positive and a negative.
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
Plea bargaining should be allowed in the court system. This is because the plea bargains are quick which saves time in court. It also saves the expenses of the state. It is easier to just admit to the case to receive the lesser sentence. There also might be some added information that could lead to locating missing people, remains of a victim or kidnapping victims.
Plea bargains are beneficial to the prosecution because it reduces the overall costs of the criminal prosecution, devotes more time to serious cases, the administrative efficiency of the courts is greatly improved, and recourses can be devoted to cases that need greater attention. The defendant also avoids possible detention and an extended trial and may receive a reduced sentence. I believe that the defendant benefits more from a plea bargain because it would create a better outcome for them in the long run. I think we should only allow plea bargains for misdemeanors. Murders and other serious offenders should not be allowed this right to help their future.
Plea barging is an important part of the admistration of justice because it saves time and makes the process quicker it also gives the chance for the defendant to plea guilty or not guilty. I would improve plea bargain by being fair with the people serving justice, no person should go thru what the two women went thru in the video. Both women had an attorney who they trusted the attorney only spoke to the judge and convinced both women to plea guilty. I believe attorneys should be fair with their clients they should be treated equally not by their income. The negative consequence of plea barging is many innocent people pea guilty fear of serving jail time and the cost of probation.
Since the courts are backlogged and many public defenders and judges being overworked, this causes plea bargaining to be used repeatedly. According to Walker et al. (2018), plea bargaining leaves many people no option but to plea guilty even when this is not their best option. This is due to a multitude of reasons but mainly to receive a lesser charge. For example, a felony and little time in jail may be better than risking multiple felonies and an excessive amount of time in jail.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of Law, plea bargaining is to be defined as "an agreement between the prosecution and the defense by which the accused agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in return for an offer by the prosecution" This entails that the two sides of the criminal case will come together in agreement of a punishment without having the case go to trial (Plea bargaining, 2015). II . Discuss the purpose of plea bargaining and the impact this practice has on the criminal justice system. According to the American Bar Association, plea bargaining is prevalent due to several factors.
Many people hear and read about criminal trails but the reality is “97 percent of convictions in federal courts were the results of guilty pleas” (Liptak). Liptak explains how criminal justice system is not made up of trials “criminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials” (Liptak). Defendants rather negotiate plea bargains instead of fighting their case. In order to get a plea you must make an agreement between the defendant and prosecuting attorney. These agreements reduce the number of trials and help lawyers focus on other cases.
Trial courts are exhorted to keep in mind that a plea of guilty for a lighter offense than that actually charged is not supposed to be allowed as a matter of bargaining or compromise for the convenience of the accused. The rule allows a plea of guilty to a lesser offense, not only at arraignment but also after arraignment and after his prior plea is withdrawn, but said rule also provides that the same be made before trial. When there is a plea of guilty to a lesser offense and the same was allowed by the court, there is no need to amend the information or