The use of plea bargaining is often critical for the effective functioning of many courts, even though this practice can give rise to many controversies. This paper is aimed to showing that by prohibiting or limiting this practice, the state can create significant challenges for law-enforcement agencies as well as judges. Instead of limiting or prohibiting plea bargaining, one should focus on the ways in which this procedure can be improved. This is the main thesis that should be discussed more closely.
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The concept of plea bargaining means that a defendant accepts the accusation posed by prosecutors; in their turn, they may ask for a less severe sentence. Moreover, this person can be charged with a less serious crime. The main advantage of this approach is that it reduces the caseload which is a critical problem for many courts. This issue is also relevant if one speaks about prosecutors and state defense attorneys.
Very often, courts find it very difficult to develop a proper schedule, because they have to try a great number of cases. The situation can become even worse, if prosecutors and defendants are not allowed to make use of please bargaining (Fisher, 2003, p. 45). Overall, the adoption of this legislative act can produce detrimental effects on the work of the criminal justice system. This is one of the main pitfalls that should be avoided.
Moreover, one should keep in mind that for many defendants, plea bargaining can be a valid option, because in this way, they can often avoid incarceration. In turn, by cooperating with prosecutors, they will have more opportunities for re-integrating into the community. These are some of the benefits that should not be overlooked.
Admittedly, there are some pitfalls that are associated with plea bargaining. For instance, one can speak about possible violations of due process. Such situations occur when a person is not fully informed about the consequences of pleading guilty. Moreover, in some cases, a defendant can be bluffed into pleading guilty, even though there is no clear evidence against him/her. This is one of the risks that should not be disregarded. Additionally, sometimes prosecutors can be driven by the need to increase their conviction rates, rather than the desire to do justice (Schultz, 2009, p. 331).
However, these problems can be adequately addressed if lawyers and judges inform an accused person about the consequences of accepting the charges. Moreover, the task of a judge is to make sure that there is substantial evidence against a defendant. These are the main precautions that should be taken.
The proposed legislative act is based on the premise that plea bargaining enables many criminals to go free. Yet, this procedure should be applied only in those cases, when a suspect does not pose a serious threat to the community. Thus, one should identify the circumstances when the use of plea bargaining is permissible.
Overall, these examples suggest that plea bargaining still remains a valuable tool that legal professionals can use, even despite some of its limitations. Much attention should be paid to the increased caseload since this problem can undermine the efficiency of many courts. In turn, the task of legislators is to suggest ways in which one can reduce the risk of associated with plea bargaining. For example, they should concentrate on the prosecutors’ attempts to increase their conviction rates. There are approaches which can reduce the risks associated with plea bargaining, while the abolition of this procedure can undermine the work of the criminal justice system.
Fisher, G. (2003). Plea Bargaining’s Triumph: A History of Plea Bargaining in America. San Diego, CA: Stanford University Press. Web.
Schultz, D. (2009). The Encyclopedia of American Law. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing. Web.