The On Alaska 's Criminal Justice System Essay

898 Words Apr 16th, 2016 4 Pages
Review: In 1975, Attorney General, Avrum Gross, declared a prohibition on plea-bargaining in Alaska. Michael Rubinstein and Teresa J. White from National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice were assigned to study the impact of Gross’s decision. Their first task was looking at whether the policy had been carried out by the courts in Alaska, and second, was what the effects were on Alaska’s criminal justice system. This involved conducting 400 interviews of the surrounding judges in Alaska and collecting information from 3,586 case files. Overall their goal was to create a detailed description of the Alaska system during the “before and after” years. Following their studies, Rubinstein and Teresa were able to answer a few questions. Firstly, was plea-bargaining eliminated in Alaska? The answer is somewhat unclear. Plea-bargaining was in fact eliminated throughout Alaska, yet some attorneys would drop one or more counts from a multiple-count indictment during a charge bargain. The defense counsel sometimes complain that since they are now unable to evaluate any case as a “sure plea,” and therefore need more motion practices and trial preparation. They sometimes feel forced to advise their clients to plead guilty in the context of “wide-open sentencing” while some lawyers are reluctant to accept such cases at all or they do so with the understanding that their main efforts will be to develop a strong record at sentencing. If they feel they have to go to trial,…

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