Plea Bargaining: An Analysis of its Prospects in the Criminal Justice Administration of Bangladesh Nadia Shabnam
One of the cardinal principles of criminal justice is that nobody is to be compelled by threat, promise or inducement in any criminal case to be a witness against themselves. As a result, it is an uphill task for the prosecution to unearth a crime, bring the witnesses in support of his case, rebut the defense arguments and prove the case beyond all reasonable doubts.These tasks become difficult for want of resources, manpower in the prosecution, and sluggishness of government officials, political interruption and importantly pervasive corruption in the criminal justice delivery process in Bangladesh. Against this backdrop,plea-bargaining can play an important role to address many of these issues.An attempt is made here to analyze the practices of plea bargaining in different regions and in different legal systems of the world. Based on experience of other countries, several recommendations are made for incorporating it in our criminal procedure.
KEY WORDS: Plea-bargaining,Trial,Criminal justice,Procedural drawbacks.
Our justice sector is divided into two parts viz.formal and informal sectors.Court system is within formal sector. Article 35(3) of the Constitution of Bangladesh laysdown,"Every person accused of criminal offence shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law”. In the context of the administration of criminal justice system, it has a dual significance as because 'justice delayed is justice denied' or 'delayed justice is an infliction of injustice in the name of justice'. In our country justice is always delayed due to procedural drawbacks. So, we cannot expect a desirable outcome from this faulty delivery system. The prime reasons for these are: lengthy investigation process, outdated recording of evidence, corruption in police report, deficiencies in number of cases and last but not the least, long awaited trial. The study mainly focuses on the problems associated with the criminal justice and its impact on criminal justice delivery system of Bangladesh. In order to eliminate the delay in dispensing justice, plea bargaining will definitely be a welcome inclusion. This article attempts to set out the effective use of plea bargaining to disposal of cases expediently. It emphasizes the need for effective implementation of plea bargaining in criminal justice system.However this article argues that plea-bargaining has little chance of bringing a dramatic effect on the criminal justice system of Bangladesh as a whole but the use of plea bargaining helps enormously by reducing huge backlog of less important cases and thus helps everybody affiliated with the criminal justice delivery system to manage the important cases properly. METHODOLOGY
The present article has been written by using qualitative method. All the data and information used here are from secondary sources such as journal articles, national and international documents, case laws and local newspapers.
COMPONENT– Identifying the drawbacks of existing criminal justice delivery system in Bangladesh, introducing plea-bargaining as a substitute for trial, mapping out recommendation measures in the light of the findings of the two.
CONCEPT OF PLEA BARGAINING
“Pleading Guilty and ensuring Lesser Sentence” is the shortest possible meaning of Plea Bargaining. Plea bargaining may be defined as an agreement between the accused and the prosecution through which the accused can get lesser sentence by admitting his or her guilt. There are three main players in a plea bargaining: the prosecutor, the accused and the judge. Bevier Law Dictionary defines it-“as to make an agreement in which the defendants plead guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutors in return drops more serious charges”. In 1975, the law commission of Canada...
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