Plea Bargains Essay
1840 Words8 Pages
A plea bargain (“offer”) is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecuting agency may offer the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a proposal of a lighter than the maximum sentence. This opportunity allows defendants to avoid the risk of a conviction at trial on a more serious charge. This also allows all involved parties to keep the court’s calendars light without exhausting resources of a court, potential public defenders, and prosecutors who are all salaried for by the expense of tax payers. If every case in the criminal justice system went to trial, the courts would be so overloaded that they would effectively be shut down.
An offer can occur at any…show more content…
Prosecutors may only "recommend" to the court the acceptance of a plea arrangement. The court will usually take proofs to ensure that the above three components are satisfied and will then generally accept the recommendation of the prosecution. The court uses the plea bargaining process as a way to alleviate the need to schedule and hold a trial on an already congested court calendar. Judges are also aware of jail/prison overcrowding and may be receptive to the "processing out" of offenders who are not likely to do much jail time anyway.
For prosecutors, a lightened caseload is equally attractive. Most importantly, an offer assures a conviction, even if it is for a lesser charge or crime. This ensures that the prosecuting agency keeps its statistics looking good, and keeps the confidence alive inside the community. No matter how strong the evidence may be, no case is a predetermined conclusion. Prosecutors are often at risk of waging a long and expensive trial with a chance of losing, similar to that of the O.J Simpson murder trial.
Prosecutors may use plea bargaining as means to advance their case against a co-defendant. They may accept a plea bargain arrangement from one defendant in return for damaging testimony against another. This way, they are assured of at least one conviction even if it’s a lesser charge with the enhanced chances of captivating a conviction against the second defendant.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Plea Bargaining
1302 WordsJan 29th, 20185 Pages
This is mainly because this concept does not necessarily represent mutual satisfaction or recognition of the merits and demerits of the charges and defenses in court cases. While it may take place any time before a verdict is presented in certain jurisdictions, plea bargaining tends to occur before trial. Actually, most of the successful criminal cases in America end with plea bargains rather than trials by juries. This is mainly because the parties to a criminal prosecution may negotiate a plea instead of going through a trial in a court of law. While it's a common practice in the criminal justice system, plea bargaining has attracted numerous concerns that are based on the advantages and disadvantages of the concept.
Description of Plea Bargaining: Plea bargains are basically described as agreements between prosecutors and defendants in which the defendants agree to plead culpable to some or charges level against them in exchange for certain compromises from the prosecutors ("Plea Bargain", 2010). The plea bargain in turn permits prosecutors to channel their efforts, time, and resources on other cases while lessening the trials judges need to oversee. As part of reaching the agreements with defendants, prosecutors usually agree to lessen the punishment of defendants. In most cases, the agreements…