Reflection Paper Three
Christina M. Bracey
Liberty University Online
Plea bargaining, also known as plea negotiation, is the most commonly used practice in the criminal justice process in which defendants are allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge or charges (Inciardi, 2010). Involved in this process are the prosecutor and the defense, along with the person accused of committing some sort of criminal activity. According to Inciardi (2010), “It is believed that more than 90 percent of criminal convictions result from negotiated pleas of guilty” (Pg. 302).
There are numerous legal advantages for the state in the use of plea bargaining. One may consider plea bargaining as a useful source in reducing the financial burden of criminal prosecution, improving the overall efficiency of the courts because there are fewer cases to be tried, and also allowing the prosecution to spend more time on more serious cases (Inciardi, 2010). As for the person being accused, there are also advantages which include reducing the possibility of detention during the trial process, increasing the chance of a lesser sentence, and decreasing the cost of legal aid (Inciardi, 2010).
Morally, plea bargains are not always acceptable because they apply different standards to different people. Two separate individuals could have committed the same crime, yet one could receive a harsher punishment than the other due to both being offered and accepting different plea bargains.
Many innocent people that appear guilty to a crime have been imprisoned because they chose to accept the plea bargain being offered to them instead of risking their chances at a trial. It is unknown the amount of defendants that have chosen this option and have spent time in prison for crimes they never even committed.
Inciardi, J. (2010). Criminal Justice (9th ed.). Columbus, OH:...