Plea Bargaining : The Staples Of The American Criminal Justice System Essay

Plea Bargaining : The Staples Of The American Criminal Justice System Essay

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Plea-bargaining constitutes one of the staples of the American Criminal Justice system. The practice entails an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in criminal cases where for the most part the defendant forgoes his trial by pleading guilty to his respective charges. By pleading guilty, the defendant receives a less severe charge compared to the original. The plea by the defendant saves an enormous amount of time for both parties since they do not allocate resources in order to prepare for trial. Similarly, the availability of money is also a factor of the plea-bargaining practice because instead the defendants can save a substantial amount of money the trial might cost. Theoretically, with the majority of criminal cases using the plea-bargain practice, the reduction of cases in the courtroom results in a drop in the number of cases and consequently, offers efficiency throughout the legal system. Plea-bargaining is an efficient method of keeping the court system from becoming overcrowded with cases, while saving an enormous amount of money for all sides, including taxpayers.
The basis of plea-bargaining is to control the amount of cases going through the criminal justice system. With over millions of arrest a year, the amount of work required to process criminal cases and take them to trial would not be feasible. The United States justice system uses plea-bargaining to drastically reduce the number of criminal cases that go to trial per year, especially since plea-bargaining accounts for roughly ninety percent of criminal cases in the United States. (Sandeur, 2003). The rationale behind plea-bargaining is a system that fosters efficiency for the judicial system. Although accepting the plea bargain sacrifices the s...


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...es in the criminal justice system by incentivizing an agreement between prosecutors and defendants in exchange for lesser charges for the defendant, less time spent on trials for the courts, and less money spent on the court system. The practice works significantly well if the outcome of the trial is essentially known and in no need of litigation because it saves enormous time for all parties. The shortening of cases for lawyers means these lawyers can now work on more severe cases where the outcome is not as clear. The plea-bargain is highly scrutinized because it exchanges less court and less spending of money for less punishment, however, in reality in the United States without the practice would suffer from overcrowding of courts, large inefficiencies as demand could not match supply, and many millions would be allocated to support the influx of new court cases.

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