Is Plea Bargain Unconstitutional
The goal of this research paper is to analyze plea bargain and discuss whether it complies with Constitution of United States. In order to accomplish this goal, conception of plea is explained in details, as well as its advantages and disadvantages for some of the participants and the system as a whole. Also Constitution is analyzed in terms of plea bargaining case in order to find out how it correlates with principal law. Besides cases of using plea bargaining and their results are explained in this research paper. Before going into further discussion I would like to briefly explain the basic conception. Judicial system is designed to punish those people that committed crimes through the system of jury trials where criminal defendant is considered as guilty or not guilty. So, at first glance it looks unavoidable that all criminals are punished according and in proportion to their crimes. In fact, there is another way of judging and punishing criminals that does not include jury trials and fair judicial process that finds defendant guilty or not guilty. This system is called plea bargaining. A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with recommendation of a lighter than maximum sentence. Plea bargains have its advantages and disadvantages. First of all, plea bargain has benefits for criminals that really did the crime. It allows them to avoid the risk of conviction at trial and receive full term of punishment for their crimes. For example, they could be offered to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge instead of felony charge. No wonder that this practice became very popular in United States. Also most of the involved parties benefit from plea bargaining. Criminals receive lesser punishment and therefore they tend to plead guilty. The cases finish earlier with predicted results so prosecutors also enjoy less workload as well as clerks that work with documentations. Money of taxpayers is also spent less both on the trial process and imprisonment. The most obvious disadvantage of plea bargaining is that it does not protect innocent people and leave no chance for them to be free after the court. Plea bargain presumes minimization of imprisonment term, not its full abolition. So, innocent people may choose plea bargain option because they fear to receive even stronger punishment. And that is indeed the most serious problem of this agreement. Plea bargain minimizes punishment for criminals with serious record, but punishes innocent people that were not able to prove their innocent to the prosecutor and therefore they go to prison for the same period of time as people that did accomplish the crime. Also this is another problem of plea bargain. It presumes that defendant is guilty without proving this with evidence and reasoning, while according to legislation nobody can be called guilty without proving. As well plea bargain becomes popular choice for people that do not their rights and legislation system and do not have money to afford a lawyer to defend their rights in court. So, besides unfairness and infringement of rights, this agreement uses weak position of the defendant to punish him or her without guilt and therefore is not democratic process, but creates groundless advantages for those who know judicial system very good or have enough money to hire a lawyer to defend them in court. So, in general plea bargaining proves to be unclear practice that creates benefits for criminals that know and infringe laws and puts innocent people in unstable position where they should choose between taking short term punishment without being guilty or receive even higher term after trial. But what is even more impressive is that statistically 9 out of 10 such criminal cases finish with plea bargain. Such proportion becomes clear after we go deeper into this...
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