Plea bargaining is a process within the criminal justice system and it takes place between the two parties involved in a criminal case that is the prosecutor and the defendant .The defendant is asked to enter into a guilty plea by the prosecutor in exchange for a lighter sentence and in some cases the prosecutor might even consider reduction of the charges as an incentive for the defendant to enter into a guilty plea (McConnell, Michael & Chester, 1999). According to McConnell, Michael and Chester (1999), plea bargaining has proved to be beneficial to the criminal justice system and for this reason I believe attorneys should be allowed to use this tool in settling their cases. Some of the benefits that have resulted in plea bargaining as a means of settling cases are discussed as under:
Most juvenile courts are attached to family courts or trail courts. Vertical plea – this is perhaps the most advantageous plea for the defendant. By pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a lesser included charge, the defendant can reduce the potential for a harsh sentence for instance a homicide charge can be pleaded vertically downward to a manslaughter charge, thereby avoiding a potential death sentence and/or longer prison
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
The occurrence of plea bargaining and pleading guilty even though the defendant professes his or her innocence is a rising and questionable phenomenon in the US court system. Pleas are sought to minimize sentence and the number of trials. (Mousseau, 2008) Pleading guilty typically comes with a “built-in incentive,” lessened sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. The defendant
It is possible that the truth is, that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used, instead plea bargaining is the primary technique used by the government to bypass the institutional safeguards in trials (Timothy Lynch Cato Institute). Some argue that plea bargaining results in criminals receiving undeserved leniency, while others argue that plea bargaining subject’s defendants to unjustifiable pressure to forego their constitutional right to a jury trial. Scholars have attacked plea bargaining on the ground that prosecutors wield too much power over defendants and coerce them into accepting plea agreements which might be unfair. Some commentators add that these defendants are too often deprived of
The prosecution, the judge and the defendant all benefit when defense counsel performs in the way the Constitution envisions. The broken public defense system in our State doesn't have to be like this. It can and must be fixed. As a result of these deficiencies, many individuals facing criminal charges are compelled to appear in court without a lawyer at critical junctures, such as when bail decisions are made. This often results in unnecessary or excessive bail being set and keeps people who cannot afford it in jail awaiting trial Many public defense lawyers also fail to: meet or consult with clients at critical stages in their cases; investigate the charges against their clients or hire experts who can assist with case preparation or testify at trial; file necessary pre-trial motions; and provide meaningful consultation before clients accept plea bargains, regardless of whether a charge is appropriate or a viable defense exists.
When misconduct or mistakes are made it can have very damaging effects on individuals and their lives, but also to the credibility of the criminal justice system. This can happen and does on occasion (Meyer & Grant, 2003). How can we improve consistency in how prosecutors accept case work? When assessing possible improvements to the consistency of how prosecutors accept case work, there are no simple answers. Putting strict demands on what a prosecutor
Another question that I will address will be do convicted felons and recovering addicts actually ever regain or gain credibility that have been diminished due to their past choices? Another central question would be if they do gain or regain credibility how long is this process? Does it vary? Research in this area is very crucial. It is important to our
Jury nullification is frequently practiced, but rarely occurs, in criminal trials and theoretically applicable to civil trials too – where it is focus to civil procedural solutions. To spare the innocent and castigate the guilty was the premeditated goal of the criminal justice system. An effect of a race-based jury nullification could be the demising an innocent life or incarcerating an innocent individual (Duane, 1996). Studies reveal that there’s an estimate of three to four percent of jury criminal trials engaged in jury nullification. Sad to say that there’s no means of totally eradicating jury nullification for jurors can’t be controlled
Since insanity is defined so arbitrarily, lawyers can protect their clients from their punishments with relative ease by dragging out the legal process for years at a time by using the insanity defense. To be protected with the insanity defense in many states, a criminal must take the M'Naghten test: failure to determine right from wrong deems the criminal insane (Cornell University Law School). Although some argue that people with mental illnesses cannot be held accountable for their actions, the greater concern should be for the overall safety for The United States of America because criminals who plead insanity can be a danger when released, legal definitions of insanity vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, Supreme Court has upheld four states' abolishing of insanity defense, and there is incomplete research on insanity. Shafer !2 Insane criminals who are found not guilty by reason of insanity are sent to mental hospitals to rehabilitate and treat their illness. The problem is that the criminals who are sent to a hospital and become "cured" could be a danger to society.