Topics: Criminal law, Crime, Plea bargain Pages: 9 (3460 words) Published: March 27, 2014
Final Reaction Paper in Political Science 100

In the

Agustin, Ed Vergel L.
Caysip, Rodante Jr. J.
Del Rosario, Mara Joy T.
Pranilla, Venus D.

Submitted to:
Mrs. Belledesma Villaver

We all know that plea in legal terms is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a civil or criminal case under common law using the adversary system. It is an allegation offered in pleading a case. What is this plea bargaining agreement referring for? Plea Bargaining Agreement according to encyclopedia, it is an agreement in a criminal case where by the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence. Most criminal defendants are less than enthusiastic over the prospect of openly admitting criminal behavior without the benefit of a trial.  A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defense whereby a person accused of a criminal offense may plead guilty to a criminal charge in exchange for a more favorable settlement. Often times, suspects either face several criminal charges or a severe criminal charge with impending severe consequences. As a way for the prosecution to secure a conviction, they often offer a defendant a plea bargain. This not only ensures a guilty verdict on at least one charge a suspect may face, but allows the prosecution to speedily process a case. This is a controversial issue for today because it allows criminals to face lesser charges and lesser penalties for severe crimes. According to John Rawls, "Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought." Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics. In this way, justice is not really served to a victim. It does not allow due process to determine true justice because plea bargain allows criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on the original more serious charge. For example, assume that a defendant is arrested for trespassing. Assume further that the Trespass was an honest mistake and that the defendant was, by happenstance, on the property of a former spouse. In addition to trespassing, the prosecutor may charge the defendant, on the facts, with Stalking and attempted Burglary. The prospect of facing a trial on three separate criminal charges may induce the defendant to plea bargain because the potential cumulative punishment for all three crimes is severe. Ultimately the defendant may plead guilty to, and forfeit the right to a trial on, the trespassing charge, the only charge that stands a chance of being proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Such a plea bargain, claim some critics, is an illusory bargain for criminal defendants.

Another example, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry jail time. In cases such as an automobile collision when there is a potential for civil liability against the defendant, the defendant may agree to plead no contest or "guilty with a civil reservation", which essentially is a guilty plea without admitting civil liability. Plea bargaining can present a dilemma to defense attorneys, in that they must choose between vigorously seeking a good deal for their present client, or maintaining a good relationship with the prosecutor, for the sake of helping future clients. There are benefits of plea bargaining to defendants. It softens the deterrent effect of punishment because it gives criminal defendants the power to bargain for lesser punishments. These critics note that experienced criminals are more likely to receive favorable plea bargains...
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