A plea bargain refers to a deal or an agreement that is made between a prosecutor and a defendant. Here a defendant agrees to plead guilty or nolo contendere having agreed with the prosecutor to drop some of the charges (Fisher, 2017). The prosecutor may lose one or more of the charges hence reducing a charge to a less severe offense or merely send a recommendation to the judge for a specified sentence. A plea-bargaining system will only be valid if the three vital elements are present. These components include a voluntary waiver, an accurate basis that will be used to support the charges that the defendant is pleading guilty and a knowing waiver of rights. The main benefit that the defendant gets from the plea-bargaining system is the ability to take away criminal trial uncertainty as well as avoiding the maximum term of a sentence (Heumann, 2016). The society may also benefit from the plea-bargaining system as it reduces congestion rates and gives the prosecutor some freedom to deal with more cases.
However, I am against the plea-bargaining system. The reason being that this system tends to render judges inactive in their role since they rely entirely on the prosecutor and the defendant to come up with the accurate record (Fisher, 2017). Therefore, they cannot independently get information that they can use to evaluate the strength of that case against the defendant. Hence, the two parties could manage the case outcome by exercising their rights or merely bargaining them away. An absence of compulsory prosecutions happens to present prosecutors with greater discretion (Heumann, 2016). The other reasons why I am against the plea-bargaining system include that it eliminates the chance of an appeal, it may lead to poor investigatory procedures, and finally, it still creates a criminal record for the innocent.
Fisher, G. (2017). Plea Bargaining’s Triumph: A History of Plea Bargaining in America (10th ed.). Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.
Heumann, M. (2016). Plea Bargaining: The Experiences of Prosecutors, Judges, and Defense Attorneys (8th ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.