Court Systems Paper

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, United States, U.S. state Pages: 4 (918 words) Published: October 9, 2014

Court Systems-Plea Bargins
AJS 502

The court system on the Federal and State level is an important part of the criminal justice system. Federal and State courts guarantee that justice is served in compliance with the United States constitution, federal, state and, local laws. One crucial part of the court process is plea bargaining. Plea bargaining is an arrangement between a prosecutor and defendant. The defendant waives their right to trial in exchange for a reduced charge, sentence or in some cases dismissal of charges. This paper will discuss a brief history of plea bargaining, the difference between Federal and State plea bargaining process and explore the pro/cons of the plea barging process in the state of Georgia. History of Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining has been around since the 1800’s. Its constitution support came from the 1970 case of Brady v. United States where the Supreme Court determined a defendant has the right to refuse a plea bargain from the prosecution. Another precedent was the 1971 case of Santobello v. New York where the Supreme Court ruled a defendant and prosecution must comply with the terms of the agreement. Also with Santobello v. New York the Supreme Court ruled a judge must approve all plea bargains in order for them to become legally binding. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005), in 2003 there were 75,573 cases disposed of in federal district court by trial or plea. Of these, about 95 percent were disposed of by a guilty plea (Pastore and Maguire, 2003). While there are no exact estimates of the proportion of cases that are resolved through plea bargaining, scholars estimate that about 90 to 95 percent of both federal and state court cases are resolved through this process (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005; Flanagan and Maguire, 1990).

Federal Plea Bargaining
In 1984 the establishment of the Sentencing Reform Act of the Federal which eliminated the...
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