May 20, 2013
According to Siegel, Schmalleger, and Worrall (2011), Plea Bargaining may be traced back as early as the 1800s. Plea Bargaining became more common in the mid 1900s as caseloads overwhelmed the court system. Georgia’s Department of Public Welfare reported the rate of guilty pleas increased to 70% and New York reported a rise of 90% (p. 236). People believed the use of plea bargaining was a lazy route and did not serve the true retribution deserved by the criminal. If not for plea bargaining the judicial system would crumble. Define Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining is the result of an agreement between the prosecutor and defendant in criminal cases. The plea bargain will result in a lesser charge, or lesser sentence, or to some of the charges where multiple indictments exist for the exchange of a guilty plea by the defendant. The plea entered is subject to court approval and will make the agreement binding if approved by the court (Siegel, Schmalleger, & Worrall, p. 319, 2011). The prosecutor and defense will carry out the plea bargain prior to any judicial review. The process of plea bargain allows the prosecutor full discretion to drop the charges or alter charges. Plea bargains are not always favorable therefore plea bargains need to be understood and voluntary. There are cases in which the prosecutor will use plea bargaining as an unlevel field to have the person charged to speak up about other potential suspects. There are procedural issues that could arise and potentially set a criminal free from prosecution. When this takes place the prosecutor will roll the dice and offer a plea bargain prior to dropping the case. Distinguish between Charge Bargaining and Sentence Bargaining The prosecution uses two types of plea bargaining if applicable. These are charge bargaining and sentence bargaining. It is important to distinguish between the two. Charge bargaining is the...
References: Siegel, L. J., Schmalleger, F., & Worrall, J. L. (2011). Courts and Criminal Justice in
America (4th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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