Plea Bargaining

Topics: Jury trial, Criminal law, Plea bargain Pages: 2 (1102 words) Published: November 5, 2014

Plea Bargaining Paper
Linda Robinson CJA/224

Many successful criminal prosecutions in the Unites States end not with Jury trials, but with plea bargains. Plea bargains are agreements between defendants and prosecutors where defendants agree to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against them in exchange for concessions from the prosecutors. These agreements allow prosecutors to focus their time and resources on other cases and reduce the number of trials that judges need to oversee. In plea bargains, prosecutors usually agree to reduce defendant’s punishment. They often accomplish this by reducing the number or severity of the charges against defendants. They might also agree to recommend that defendants receive reduced sentences. Some plea bargains require defendants to do more than simply plead guilty. For example, prosecutors often offer favorable plea bargains to defendants who agree to testify for the state in cases against other defendants. Although plea bargaining allows the criminal justice system to conserve resources, it is controversial. Some commentator’s believer that it is inappropriate in that it allows defendants to get off to easily. Others argue that it is too coercive and undermines important constitutional rights. Plea bargaining does require defendants to waive three rights protected by the fifth and sixth amendments: the right to a jury trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confront hostile witnesses. Some critics of plea bargaining argue that the process is unfair to criminal defendants. These critics claim that prosecutors possess too much discretion is choosing the charges that a criminal defendant may face. Because prosecutors are evaluated in large part on their conviction rates, they are forced to try to win at all costs. According to some critics, prosecutors use overcharging to coerce guilty pleas from defendants and deprive them of the procedural safe guards and the...

Citations: The Free Dictionary Retrieved From and Disadvantages of Plea Bargaining Retrieved from University Law School Retrieved from
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