Plea Bargaining Essay

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According to the United States Constitution the sixth amendment states that accused criminals have the sole right to a fair, speedy and public trial which in many cases would include an impartial jury, confrontation, rights to counsel, along with the overall right to fight for your innocence. But it seems over the last few decades the amount of trials brought to courts have drastically decreased, with more accused criminals opting for a plea bargain. This is because of a blunder the sixth amendment never specifies, the justice system uses plea bargain as a way to speed up a case if believed guilty or not, which in some cases leads to an unfair trial for the innocent. Plea bargains offers an accused offender a fast way out without having to go through the full process of a trial, and in most cases offers them a lesser sentence or punishment than they would receive in the case was brought to trial without considering innocent or guilt. Plea bargaining has became so popular over the years it seems hardly anyone anymore attempts to plea innocent and go to trial, because they fear the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties (Oppel, 2011). This change in the legal system over the past few decades has created the term “trial penalty”. It seems those who choose to exercise their rights to a fair trial have been punished with longer sentences than those who settled for the plea. When an accused criminal is facing a potential punishment for a crime they may have or not have done they have to weigh all the options. One option is accepting a plea bargain for things such as probation, a year in jail, or maybe just community service. The other option is fighting their accusation and going to trial where they face losing and receiving a possible “2,5, or even 20 times as long as if they had pleaded guilty”(Oppel,2011). This unfair

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