Plea Bargain Discussion

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Respond to the following three-part question in one post. 1. List and explain the three types of plea bargains. Should defendants be allowed to plea or not? 2. Does plea bargaining serve everyone’s interests? Explain. 3. What adverse impact(s) can you envision for our criminal justice system if pleas were not allowed? Cite a source or sources in support of your position. ------------------------------------------------- Prosecutors use 3 basic types of plea bargains with defendants in the United States. 1. Defendants may plead to a lesser offense. This just means that if you are accused of rape, you may be able to “plead down” to assault. 2. Defendants may plead guilty so the prosecutor will recommend a lighter sentence. Sometimes the prosecutor will trade a guilty plea for the recommendation of a lighter/shorter sentence. This is only a recommendation and the judge can override it and sentence what he feels would be appropriate. 3. Defendants may plead guilty to one charge in exchange for other charges against being dropped. If a defendant is accused of several charges, the prosecutor may recommend pleading guilty to one of the charges instead of having all of the charges brought against him/her. Plea bargains account for approximately 95% of all felony convictions. They are used for a variety of reasons. First, plea bargains bring a quick closure to cases. Without plea bargains, our court system would be more swamped than it already is. Another reason is the strength of the case. If there is a question whether the evidence would bring a conviction, then the plea bargain would at least give them the conviction. And if the evidence is obvious and strong, the plea bargain would be good for the defendant, because he wouldn’t have to defend himself in court. Because prosecutors are “graded” on their conviction rate, getting those

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