University of Phoenix
Introduciton to Criminal Court Systems
November 14, 2013
A Plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in a criminal case where the defendant pleads guilty to a certain charge in exchange for a lesser penalty from the prosecutor. Plea bargaining brings many benefits to the prosecutor and the court system but also comes with much criticism. Normally the judge will offer a plea bargain when the defendant knowingly waives his/her rights and admits that their guilty.
The role of the plea bargain in the criminal justice system is often misunderstood and frequently ...view middle of the document...
A plea bargain can also result in a defendant not having to go to jail which in the long run can decrease the inmate population in jails and prisons.
The prosecution benefits the most from plea bargaining, by offering a plea to a criminal for admitting their guilt the prosecution can alter the sentencing of the defendant. If a defendant agrees to wave their rights to trial, as I stated previously this will result in the courts saving time and a critical amount of money. The biggest benefit of plea bargaining is that the courts become less congested and prosecutors can handle more cases.
With the benefits of plea bargaining comes a wide-spread criticism. For the defendant the biggest problem with plea bargaining is that he or she may be innocent. This innocent defendant is afraid to face the court and would like to avoid the risk of being found guilty so they take a plea bargain. One of the biggest criticisms plea bargaining receives is that by taking away the defendants right to trial is unconstitutional.
Another reason plea bargaining can be an awful way of dealing with criminals is that police investigations are conducted poorly and attorneys become lazy because they rely on plea bargaining and making a deal with guilty or innocent defendant. Instead the prosecution should be focused on finding justice and figuring out the facts of the case to find out if the defendant is guilty or not and weather he or she deserves to serve time in jail or not.
Plea bargaining can benefit the defendant, the prosecution and the criminal justice system as a whole. However the defendant and attorney may want to consider all of their options because both parties come out with less than a win. The prosecution could hire a private investigator if the case is a serious to find out if the defendant is guilty or not and if they are then decide if a plea bargain is the best thing. However if the case is less serious the prosecution could ask the defendant to take a lie detector test, chances are an innocent person would be willing to do so.
In the case North Carolina v. Alford, Mr. Alford is accused of Capital murder. The penalty for a guilty plea is imprisonment for life, however, if the defendant pleads innocent and the jury rules him guilty the death penalty attaches. Prior to the trial, Mr. Alford accepted a plea bargain. The bargaining...