Free

The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
The country's court system is most often overburdened with so many cases and the majority of these cases sometimes involved relatively minor crimes. The essay "The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements" tries to re-examine some of the issues involved with plea bargaining agreements…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER96% of users find it useful
The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements"

 The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements
Introduction
The country's court system is most often overburdened with so many cases and majority of these cases sometimes involved relatively minor crimes. There is undoubtedly a need to have reforms to unclog the dockets of these minor cases so that the courts can concentrate on the more serious cases like murder, homicide, rape, burglary or other index crimes. There had been many reforms undertaken in the past towards this end so that society will remain secure and safe. This led to one of the more controversial practices in the justice system which is plea bargaining. The accused agrees to a lower sentence in return for admitting the crime or in the words of lawyers, their favorite phrase of “granting without admitting” which connotes absolution. This paper tries to re-examine some of the issues involved with plea bargaining agreements.
Discussion
The social contract calls for all members of society to submit to its conventions and all the other accepted forms of normal behavior. Membership implies agreement to its rules and so those who deviate from those rules are subject to sanctions and punishments such as those which are prescribed by the laws of that society. This is the only way to maintain order in society so all deviants must somehow be made to account for their unseemly behavior and this is why there is a court system today because modern society is a community of laws and not of men. However, there are instances when the full weight of the law may not be just or wise and other means of a retribution system may be more appropriate and one of these is the plea bargaining agreement.
There are many obvious advantages to a plea bargain, primary of which is unclogging a fully-booked court system. It frees the judge to move on to the next case, spares the criminal the time spent in jail, helps to save on government expense associated with incarceration and overall, is supposed to improve the administration of justice in society. The accused gets off more lightly such as with a probation, a suspended or even a drastically reduced sentence. It likewise spares a criminal the stigma of having been an ex-convict and makes it easier to re-integrate into society. The prosecution gets its guilty plea and plea bargaining agreements are an important part of the prosecution if witnesses are truthful but not very credible (Barkan and Bryjack, 2011, p. 357).
Such agreements are still subject to final approval by the courts and any rejection causes the defendant to be in an obvious disadvantage in the adversarial court system that we have. This precludes the defendant from filing an appeal later on as he had already entered a guilty plea. In retrospect, any plea agreement must be in compliance with the terms and conditions imposed by the court if it is reasonable and justifiable. Despite the advantages cited earlier, there are critics who say the plea bargaining agreement undermines the rule of law by letting off criminals easily. In other words, it strikes at one of the most basic principles in jurisprudence which says that the punishment must fit the crime. The sacred tradition of dishing out the appropriate punishment is sometimes reduced to that of haggling, not unlike that found in the wet market.
This diminishes the legal standards by which all of society must abide by and may have more serious consequences. A common perception is the unresolved issue of recidivism because the guilty party was not being sufficiently punished for a crime committed. On the other hand, it must also consider that one of the aims of the justice system is rehabilitation to avoid stigma.
A convincing argument for plea bargaining is the massive case load of prosecutors; as an example was a certain Mr. Asahel Huntington of the Middlesex County back in 1820, when a load of 101 cases in just a few years threatened a legal calamity of sorts (Fisher, 2004, p. 40). An overwhelming case load prevents a prosecutor from giving focus to each case which can be lost. A plea bargain is also part of the wider aspect of the due process in which suspects are given all the rights to a fair trial and a day in court; the tediousness of the whole legal process tends to the plea bargain as a cop-out to quickly obtain a guilty plea or just plain laziness (Time, 1978, p.1).
Some research studies showed that plea bargaining sometimes allows hardened suspects or criminals to actually get off lightly, like the case of the violent killer back in 1975 who had his charge reduced to manslaughter only and promptly released because he already served all the 18 month-sentence while awaiting trial (ibid.) while other critics say the whole system of bargaining forces some defendants to accept it, feeling coerced especially if the judge is involved in the time of the negotiations or deal making. Some states imposed bans on plea bargains precisely to get a harsher or longer sentence but this plea bargaining has become so pervasive within the system. It was originally a way to mediate cases but has almost become the default mode in 95% of cases. The entire system is anchored on the twin principles of discretion and leniency within the larger context of a state's local political economy (McConville and Mirsky, 2005, p. 8).
Conclusion
Perhaps a way to improve the plea bargaining system is to institute a tracking system by which recidivists and violent offenders are precluded from availing of plea bargains such as that in Canada (Yessine and Bonta, 2006, p. 574) to prevent abuses in the criminal justice system.
Reference List
Barkan, Steven E. & Bryjak, George J. (2011). Fundamentals of criminal justice: a sociological view. Sudbury, MA, USA: Jones & Bartlett Publishing.
Fisher, George (2004). Plea bargaining's triumph: a history of plea bargaining in America. Palo Alto, CA, USA: Stanford University Press.
McConville, Michael & Mirsky, Chester L. (2005). Jury trials and plea bargaining: a true history. Portland, OR, USA: Hart Publishing.
Time Magazine (1978, August 28). Law: is plea bargaining a cop-out? Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916340-3,00.html
Yessine, Annie K. & Bonta, James (2006, July). Tracking high-risk, violent offenders: an examination of the national flagging system. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 48 (4), 573-607. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/law/1431197-plea-bargaining-or-ypi-did-not-commit-that-crime
(The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements Essay)
https://studentshare.org/law/1431197-plea-bargaining-or-ypi-did-not-commit-that-crime.
“The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/law/1431197-plea-bargaining-or-ypi-did-not-commit-that-crime.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements

Plea Bargaining

...?PLEA BARGAINING Plea bargaining can be defined ,“as an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant is allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge rather than risk conviction for a graver crime in order to avoid a protracted trial or to win the defendant's cooperation as a witness”. Defining plea bargaining can help understand what plea bargaining is. Plea bargaining can help an individual and hurt an individual. Many may argue the fact of whether plea bargaining is beneficial. The judicial...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Plea Bargaining

...?Plea Bargaining Plea bargaining is a process in criminal trials where the defense and the prosecution discuss the possibility of coming up with an agreement that benefits both parties to the case. When it is successful, there is a plea bargain deal which is then submitted to the court for approval. Plea bargaining plays a very significant role in our criminal justice system. It is a win-win formula for all parties involved in the case, including the trial court hearing the case because a successful deal means one case less on their overcrowded dockets. On the part of the prosecution, the advantage is the assurance of having a conviction, albeit for a lesser crime or minimal penalty, over the possibility of the accused walking off... that he...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment

Plea-bargaining

...?Running Head: Plea-bargaining Plea-bargaining Lecturer: Plea-bargaining accounts for 90% of convictions in the US. Plea-bargaining is where the accused person pleads guilty in a negotiation with the prosecutor where concessions form the motivation for the bargain (Ross, 2006). The advantage of this system is that there is no need for a trial, a right that the defendant waives losing the chance for acquittal. However, the defendant “escapes” with a lesser charge than would have been the case had trial been done. The state saves on the cost of conducting a trial (Grossman...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Benefits of Plea Bargaining

...Running Head: Plea Bargaining Benefits of Plea Bargaining s This paper intends to observe plea bargaining for being used not only as a punishment method but as a form of conflict resolve as well. A few years back, sentence purpose of plea bargaining was highlight by its defenses, claiming that guilty convicts admitting the culpability benefitted with lighter punishments in comparison of those insisting for a trial. Obviously, someone is benefited by guilty pleas, otherwise there would be none. Our question of research is to determine what these benefits are, and who obtains them. Do they...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Plea bargaining

...Plea Bargains and Morality A plea bargain is an agreement where the prosecutor offers the defendant an opportunity to plead guilty to lesser charge, often in exchange for a lesser punishment. There are multiple moral issues that arise regarding plea bargains. The first has to do with the concern that plea-bargaining provides too much leniency for the guilty. If the purpose of the justice system is to deter crime, then it must administer punishments that are harsher than the perceived benefit of committing that crime. For example, it would be foolish to administer a one...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Plea Bargaining

...of the cases which is practiced in. The process takes place in a system by which the accused either pleads guilty to a lesser offense or to one or more counts in a charge with multiple counts. Within the purview of the rules, the chief justice will be expected to make guidelines including those parties in avoiding to enter into such negotiations just for the sake of convenience, the prosecution should be keeping the victim of the crime being bargained on fully informed of the negotiations going on, the court on being advised of a plea bargain agreement for ascertaining that the accused person totally understands the process with its...
25 Pages(6250 words)Research Paper

Plea Bargaining in the United States Criminal Justice System

...Plea Bargaining With the US Criminal Justice System Plea Bargaining Within the definition of roles and powers of different judicial officers, the prosecution reserves the power of determination of the most relevant aspect of criminal liability to claim in the prosecution. The courts require that sufficient disclosures between the defense counsel and the prosecution proceeds on mutual consideration for execution of duties. The action of the court during criminal proceedings begins with the arraignment or initial presentation of the defendant in court to answer to charges. Arraignment attains two basic functions, which include reading the charges and allowing the accused to make a plea, which might be stating whether they are guilty... , or...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Plea-Bargaining

...Plea-bargaining Ninety percent of cases are disposed of through plea-bargaining and the associated advantages of the concession to defendants, the prosecution, and the judicial system are the reasons. Plea-bargaining eliminates the prosecution’s burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt and therefore saves it the time and resources that could otherwise be used in investigations and presentation of evidence. Similarly, the saved time and resources could be used to focus on and establish efficiency in cases that have greater weight. Judges also derive similar benefits, as they are able to concentrate on cases that are more serious and to reduce workload. Defendants, however, derive the benefit of reduced sentences and the notion... that the...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Plea Bargaining

..., there was major underfunding within the judicial system, unlike other state government elements that fared much better in the recent economic crisis of 2009/2010 (Bibas, n.d.). Considering that most expenses within the judiciary are staff wages, it has been argued in the past that plea bargaining is the best thing that happened to the judicial system. Political analysts and lawmakers have dubbed plea-bargaining as "the new criminal justice system." Because plea-bargaining offers both efficiency and reduced logistical and financial resources, it is overly perceived that without...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Court System - Plea Bargaining Agreements for FREE!

Contact Us