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Trials and Verdicts: Legal Decision-Making Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 12th, 2022

The important result of the legal decision-making process is the verdict which can end the trial process and state the form of punishment for the convicted person.

However, to understand the details related to interpreting the cases and law and to stating the verdict, it is necessary to analyze the processes related to different courts according to their jurisdiction, and to focus on the real-life examples in order to discuss the problems of accepting a plea bargain and of being wrongly accused.

The question of the court’s jurisdiction is discussed when it is necessary to select which court can decide on the certain case appropriately. Following the Felkner v. Jackson case, it is possible to state that different courts are effective to discuss concrete issues and decide on the aspects of the case, but the process of the case resolution can be rather long and complicated.

In 2011, Steven Frank Jackson was convicted of many sexual offenses. However, Jackson referred to the Batson v. Kentucky case, and focused on the issue of racism in relation to the California jury who discussed the case.

Jackson’s petition was accepted and examined by the California Court of Appeal, and then the California Supreme Court decided according to the court’s jurisdiction to reject the necessity of the case’s review (Felkner v. Jackson, 2011). Nevertheless, the case was not unresolved even in relation to the Federal District Court.

In this situation, the Supreme Court took the jurisdiction to provide the decision, and the previous courts’ decisions were defined as unreasonable. Finally, it is stated by the Supreme Court of the United States that the petition “for certiorari and the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis are granted.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion” (Felkner v. Jackson, 2011). As a result, it is possible to note that the decision to discuss the case in the Supreme Court of the United States is appropriate because of the necessity to resolve all the controversial points of the case which cannot be resolved in the other courts.

The cases when the defendant accepts a plea bargain as an alternative to trial are also very controversial and complicated because this decision can be associated with a kind of pressure from attorneys and prosecutors. Furthermore, the defendant can change his or her decision during the process. Thus, to discuss the question in detail, it is necessary to focus on the Freeman v. United States case (2011).

William Freeman was convicted of different crimes associated with drug trafficking and drug delivery. However, Freeman decided to develop the plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C). The agreement meant that Freeman could plead guilty depending on receiving a specific sentence.

The case was rather complicated, and it was decided in 2011 that referring to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), the sentence could be reduced “for the offense to which the defendant pled guilty” (Freeman v. United States, 2011).

In spite of the fact that the plea agreement does not mean the alternative to the trial, the case is important to be discussed to decide whether or not justice was served. Referring to this concrete case, it is possible to state that the justice was served because the severity of crimes should be taken into account every time when the possibility of the plea agreement is discussed.

The most problematic cases are those ones in which defendants are wrongly accused and later vindicated. One of the most famous cases is the case associated with the famous sportsman Brian Banks who was convicted of raping Wanetta Gibson. Brian Banks accepted a plea bargain because of the threat to be imprisoned for more than 40 years.

However, in 2011, it became possible to state that Banks was not guilty, and he was vindicated. The most important aspect to be discussed in relation to the case is the fact that Wanetta Gibson lied during the first trial process in order to receive the significant financial compensation (Powers, 2012).

The decision of the court could be different, but the lawyers failed to prove or not Gibson’s words. That is why, these details affected the whole trail process, and Brian Banks had to accept the plea agreement in order to avoid being imprisoned for a long period of time.

In spite of the fact, the United States’ legislative system should contribute to the people’s welfare and protection, there are many controversial verdicts and trials which can influence the statement of the principles of justice in the country.

From this point, it is necessary to pay much attention to the controversial aspects and issues discussed during the trial processes in order to resolve cases in the appropriate courts with the focus on their jurisdiction and to avoid the ineffective decisions which can lead to the unalterable consequences. As a result, all the details of the case should be taken into consideration to decide on the person’s guilt and possible verdict.


Felkner v. Jackson. (2011). Retrieved from

Freeman v. United States. (2011). Retrieved from

Powers, A. (2012). A 10-year nightmare over rape conviction is over. Retrieved from

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