The Nature Of Plea Bargaining Essay

1661 Words Apr 8th, 2016 7 Pages
The Nature of Plea Bargaining in the American Criminal Justice System Many conceptualize the American criminal justice system as consisting of trials where prosecutors and defense attorneys argue over the defendant’s innocence. However, the truth is that the traditional court norm of a full-fledged trial is becoming increasingly rare as time goes on. As the population grows, more court cases will naturally enter the court system. However, with only a miniscule amount of judges to preside over cases, the problem of overburdening has quickly become apparent. One controversial method of alleviating the pressure placed on the courts is called plea bargaining. In the simplest terms, plea bargaining is a deal made between the prosecutor and the defendant. It usually involves the defendant pleading guilty, and thus receiving a lighter sentence for admitting guilt. The willingness to introduce a plea bargain may come from the prosecution or the defense, but both sides must obviously agree in order for it to take effect. Hence the “deal,” because either side may reject it if they choose so. Therefore, it is essentially a matter of negotiation. There are no significant guidelines when it comes to plea bargaining, as it is an informal process in the legal system. It would not be false to describe plea bargaining as being a fabrication from prosecutors and defense attorneys. However, most occurrences of plea bargaining share the same elements. Despite their similarities, there are…

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