Role Of Plea Bargaining In The Criminal Justice System

Topics: Criminal law, Crime, Law Pages: 3 (623 words) Published: April 13, 2016


Process
Plea bargaining is the essence of the criminal justice system, and it is the process in which a defendant pleads guilty to a criminal charge in order to receive some consideration from the state. There are various types of plea bargaining deals that defendants may accept, which include charge bargaining, count bargaining, and sentence bargaining. Charge bargaining requires the defendant to plead guilty to a less serious crime than the one originally charged with. Count bargaining requires the defendant to plead guilty to partial charges or counts, but not all of the charges presented against them. Lastly, sentence bargaining requires the defendant to plead guilty in exchange for leniency in sentencing.
The prosecutor, the defendant, and the judge are all involved in the plea bargaining process. Typically, the process begins with the prosecutor making an offer. The defense lawyer, with minimal or no investigation of the case, discusses the plea bargain with their client, who then accepts or declines the offer. At the hearing, the court confirms with the defendant that they have accepted the plea bargain freely and voluntarily. Once the defendant confirms with the court, the court accepts the plea and the defendant is charged....

By not producing results that correlate with the outcome, plea bargaining weakens the validity of the criminal justice system. Validity or legitimacy is a very important characteristic of the legal system’s effectiveness. The view of the legal system is determined considerably on whether or not the system operates in harmony with basic rules of procedural fairness, for example treating cases alike or allowing parties an opportunity to be heard. Nevertheless, a system that fails to function under such rules will lose their...
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