Advantages and Disadvantages of Plea Bargains

Topics: Criminal law, Lawyer, Prosecutor Pages: 3 (708 words) Published: March 6, 2013
Advantages and Disadvantages of Plea Bargaining
Cherese Murphy
May 17, 2012
Maxine Craig

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plea Bargaining
The history of plea bargaining go back to the 19th century; by the second half of the 19th century plea bargaining was somewhat a common practice. (Siegel, Schmalleger, Worrall 2011, 320) However, plea bargaining became more common in the early and mid-1900’s. From 1916 to 1921 the Georgia Department of Public Welfare advised that guilty plea rates increase 70 %. In New York statistics show between 1839 and 1920 the guilty plea rate increase by 90 %. Plea bargaining has become an important component to the justice system.

When a defendant decides to take a plea bargain justice is administered by the prosecutors and defense attorneys (Siegel, Schmalleger, Worrall 2011, 319). Plea bargaining allows the defense attorney and prosecuting attorney to decide the defendant fate without going to trial. The plea bargaining process is conducted between the defense and prosecuting attorney with limited judicial overview. Plea Bargaining is “The process whereby the accused and the prosecutor in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to court approval. It usually involves the defendants pleading guilty to a lesser offense or to only some of the counts of a multi-count indictment in return for a lighter sentence possible for the graver charge” (Siegel, Schmalleger, Worrall 2011, 319). For example when 48 –year-old Donald Brett Richardson of Sanpete County, avoided the death penalty by admitting he strangle his ex-girlfriend and killing a man he hated. Although prosecutors agreed to recommend that Donald Richardson serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, defense attorneys accomplished their goal in which was to save Donald Richardson life (Berman, 2008). However, plea bargains are not always acceptable for both parties. Although generally the defense attorney...

References: Siegel, J. Larry, Schmalleger, Frank, Worrall, L. John. (2011). Courts and Criminal Justice in America. Retrieved from
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