Plea Bargaining research

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Law

Document 1

The paper will also engage the views of critics towards finding a balance between what the critics postulate and the benefits of engaging in a plea bargaining. The paper takes the position that, plea bargaining has so many benefits that the criminal justice system cannot work without it if at all it will achieve speedy and cost-effective determination of cases. The paper also affirms that defendants stand to benefits a great deal from entering plea bargaining. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 4 Problem statement 4 Fact bargaining 5 Conclusion 10 References 11 Introduction The aspect of Plea bargaining in the justice system comes in where the prosecutor and the accused person strike an agreement to have the defendant plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence. The crime victim gets substantial benefits from the application of plea bargaining concept in the sense that he avoids the tiresome and rigorous trial as well as avoiding the possibility of victimization. The crime victim will benefit from a lenient sentence in exchange for giving up their rights, a scenario that would be difficult to achieve if they chose to pursue full trial and found guilty. The criminal justice system always struggles with increasing number of cases amidst the backdrop of limited resources. Further, the prison department faces the challenge of over congestion. Therefore, plea bargaining serves as a proactive approach towards solving some of these issues in the criminal justice system (Batra, 2015). The criminal justice system emphasizes on crime control model that draws its impetus from the need to expedite all cases with speed and finality, and plea bargaining serves to achieve exactly this position.

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Plea bargain takes place between the prosecutor and the defendant and as such, the court has to establish the validity of the plea bargaining to ensure it meets three elements, that is, the existence of a factual basis that offer supportive basis for the charges the crime victim is pleading guilty, voluntary waiver and knowing the waiver of rights. The defendant against a criminal charge must choose between three areas of negotiation in plea bargaining, which include, sentence bargaining, charge bargaining, and fact bargaining. Sentence bargaining In the context of sentence bargaining, a defendant is expected to enter in a plea of guilty towards securing a lenient charge. The court will have the final say on the plea bargain and as such, it may alter or fully reject the same. Charge bargaining comes to play when a prosecutor drops all charges or reduces the extent of the proposed charges.

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Plea bargaining also lessens the possibility of a more severe conviction and in the event, affording the defendant lesser stay in jail and unwanted publicity. The criminal justice is mandated to advance correctional mechanisms and help integrate offenders into the society. The plea bargaining allows the criminal justice to achieve exactly this edge. The goal shifts from the need to pursue finality of a case towards achieving a more punitive sentence, to a lesser sentence that aims at correcting the actions of the defendant. Therefore, the accused will avoid the stigmatization that comes with a jail term while at the same time giving him a chance to integrate seamlessly in the society. In a case where a prosecutor is keen to damage testimony against a co-defendant, he may accept a plea bargaining arrangement from another defendant.

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The fact that this will accrue a lesser charge, the arrangement assures the prosecutor of at least a conviction over and above raising the possibility of winning a conviction against the other accused person. The plea-bargaining approach ensures that those who commit crime receive punishment. This is critical since criminal trials are full of uncertainty due to the fact that if the evidence filed in the court is weak, the accused can go Scott free. The law holds the argument that even when the accused committed the crime and they are as guilty as charged, the evidence must be adequate to justify the need to charge the accused. In some jurisdictions, felons cannot vote or possess a firearm. The above illustration is a clear depiction of the many benefits that the accused stands to accrue for entering a plea bargain than facing a full trial.

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Some offenses are said to be socially offensive and once a prosecutor reduces charges to a less offensive charge in exchange for a guilty plea the accused enjoys a less socially stigmatizing offense on his record. For instance, a prosecutor may reduce a rape case to an assault; thus, allowing the defendant to avoid the tag of a sex offender. A lesser offense helps the accused to avoid stigmatization from family and friends. Children may stop attending school and a shift in lifestyle takes place to adjust to the reality of the day. However, with plea bargaining, the family is spared the need to undergo all these challenges since the accused will have a window to work out the issues surrounding the case and join the family. The critics of plea bargaining argue that those in authority can abuse the system and use it to advance their agenda.

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Prosecutors have been accused to coerce defendants to enter a plea bargaining to avoid losing cases especially when they know they have a weak evidence against the accused. They use the tool to maintain high conviction rates. Last and not the least, the critics argue that employing plea bargaining prevents justice from being served. Innocent people may fall victims of a jail term. Similarly, people who committed a serious crime may end up receiving a lenient punishment that is not equivalent to the crimes they committed. Schehr, 2015) This creates grounds where the criminal justice deviates from its role to afford free and fair trial that affords all citizens justice. Conclusion Considering the pros that come with plea bargaining, the defendants, courts, and prosecutors stand to benefit. Judicial Participation in Plea Bargaining: A Dispute Resolution Perspective.

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Retrieved from http://moritzlaw. osu. edu/students/groups/oslj/files/2015/07/8-Batra. pdf Bushway, S. edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=1256&context=unh_lr Neubauer, D. Fradella, H. America's Courts and the Criminal Justice System. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from The NewYork Review of Books: https://www. nybooks. com/articles/2014/12/18/plea-bargains-prosecutors-exchange/.

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