For Criminal Justice Class about plea bargaining - Term Paper Example

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Ethics of Plea Bargaining (Name) (University) Plea Bargaining The plea bargaining system arose due to the increasing complexity, duration, and cost of criminal trials, and it gained importance due to the increasing use of adversary procedures based on the law of evidence…
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Term Paper for Criminal Justice Class about plea bargaining
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Download file to see previous pages Even though consent from prosecutor is needed, the prosecutor has no absolute authority to deny the defendant to make a deal. As the criminal justice seeks to develop the plea-bargaining system, this focus on the prosecutor discretionary powers, the victim, and the defendant is revisited. The system seems to be predominantly based on the offender and reprimand while forgetting the victim. The intention was for both parties to circumvent prolonged criminal trial and to permit the defendants to avoid risks arising from conviction during trial on other more grave charges. However, since the American jails and prisons are already overcrowded, the system should be reformed in order to conform to both moral and ethical functions of justice, and at the same tackle the overcrowding issue. In particular, there needs to be guidelines on the information that prosecutors should use, in order to avoid the current trend whereby prosecutors are conflicted in their resolution of what information needs to be divulged and the timing of such revelations. As such, codification, uniform rules, and increase in prosecutorial obligations will help to offer indispensable guidance and some sense of consistency, such that guilty pleas are based on the theory of knowing and intellectual waivers regarding right to trial. Ethical Concern The plea bargaining system arose due to the increasing complexity, duration, and cost of criminal trials, and it gained importance due to the increasing use of adversary procedures based on the law of evidence (Chambliss, 2011). However, the system, just like any other government policy, is liable to misuse and several ethical concerns. Firstly, the system involves regular contact between the prosecutor and the defendant’s team. This implies that the likelihood of replacing the official adversarial responsibilities with mutual relationships is high due to a lack of public openness (Williams & Arrigo, 2012). Secondly, the system pressure to give results inside the constraints of strictly limited resources, presents an ethical dilemma, of whether it is in the best interest for victims, defendants and the public to substitute the slow but deliberate jury practices with more speedy, closed-door and non-formal agreements (Lynch, 2003). Third, the ethical question arises whether it is right for defendants to be permitted to acquire ownership and liability for criminal conduct. Most notable, are the victims equal partners during negotiations and are their interests taken critically? Alternatively, is the system a form of bargain-based justice that lets the culpable off easily, and which in the end undermines the significance of deterrent as enforcement? As such, is it ethical to give the prosecutor an explicit stipulation to make the defendant to sign an agreement, which waives his or her right to dispute the plea agreement later, on the basis that it violated their sixth amendment right to be efficiently represented by a counsel? Discussion: Differing Perspectives History Evidence regarding the origin of plea-bargaining systems is ambiguous, but according to Fisher (2003) based on an asessment of court archives, the first plea bargains in America took place in Boston, Massachusetts. Fisher (2003) observes that between 1780 and early 1800, Middlesex County prosecutors came up with a structure whereby several charges related to liquor trading violations were to be dropped into a single ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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