There are many strategies that people have involved in at the process of trying to attain justice in the various courts of law. One is what we call plea bargaining. This act has raised many concerns, yet it has been perceived to yield exceptional justice upon individuals in various societies.
Justice is one of the entities that are treasured most in the modern world. This is a situation where each and every individual is accorded his or her right according to the rule of the laws governing the country and also the powers of the court of law. Plea bargaining is an act that has been seen to dominate many of the court cases that have been handled by various courts of law. It is a process where an individual who has been named a criminal defendant and the prosecutor agrees mutually to dispose a criminal case as subject to the approval of the court. It is a one way in which a criminal can have his case concluded without going through the trial chambers.
Many nations practice this act of bargaining as it has been seen to assist many individual defendants to avoid more complication of the single case that might have been there (Fisher, 2004). It is therefore vivid that plea bargaining is an act that can be treated to have both the pros and cons with respect to the nature of the case and the extent to which justice has to be done in a particular situation. Justice is the central organ issue that has to be fulfilled at all times win the handling of the court cases. The main aim of this term paper is to help expose the nature of operation of plea bargaining and its reactions in various societies. This will centrally dwell on the pros and the cons of the activity since is looks like it is being practised in many nations all over the world, even in the most powerful nations as the united states of America.
Plea bargaining is an act that also happens in a federal court of law. For instance, it is authorised by subsections (e) of the 11th rule in the federal rules of the procedures of trying criminals in the court. Here, both the prosecutor and the defendant may enter into an agreement where the defendant will plead guilty and at the same time, the prosecutor may dismiss or even move to dismiss the charges against the defendant and offer him or her request that he or she has raised with respect to the nature of the offence made. All these activities must take place before the trial of the defendant not unless both parties have a reasonable explanation of the delay of the case (Rhodes, 1978).
Moreover, a plea bargaining may be stopped by the prosecutor in many instances. This is because of the fact that the act itself is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. Here, the prosecutor will basically base on the nature of the offence committed by the defendant. The prosecutor has discretion to decide whether to offer or stop a plea bargain. This also means that the prosecutor cannot depend on classes as of race and religion in order to offer on fail to offer a plea bargain.
Plea bargaining is an act that has both pros and cons with respect to the prosecutor and the defendant as well. In many courts all over the world, there are normally variances of cases that have to be handled by the prosecutor within the appropriate time possible. It is for this reason that the prosecutor may offer a plea bargain in order to allow time for other high profile cases to be handled in the court. The moment the criminal has agreed to take responsibility of the offences laid upon his conduct, the prosecutor may see no need to continue handling the same case anymore.
In this case, plea bargaining is considered a reward to the defendant for confessing the act. This is basically because of the fact that many defendants will always try to prove innocent to the end yet knowing that he or she is seriously guilty. Moreover, the evaluation of many prosecutors is defendant on the rate at which they have been able to carry out convictions upon the defendants. The part of the agreement that has to be signed is for the defendant to plead guilty in order to ease the entire activity of pleading for a bargain. Thus, it is considered to lift the status of the prosecutor with respect to the activities that he or she carries out in the court (Heumann, 1981).
Pleading guilty is normally a final process that would instantly end a hot case placed upon the hands of a prosecutor. It is quite important that an opportunity is always given for an individual to be able to plead for a bargain in any case. If the defendant is sure enough to have committed an offence, and has no fundamental evidences to ascertain for his or her innocence, pleading for a bargain is always considered the better option. The defendant thus has no other option other than to plead guilty towards a particular offence. This is the reason why it is even included in the procedures of trying criminals in the federal court of justice. Moreover, it is a common practice in many criminal proceedings in many countries as the United States of America, Canada, Pakistan and India.
Plea bargaining is a legal acting that has been considered as a short cut to a process of achieving justice in many courts of law all over the world. For many, justice is an entity that has to be a subsequent product of any court case. The fact that the defendant will be able to plead guilty and be offered the punishment that he or she has pleaded for is a true reflection of justice done. The defendant will be able to receive instant justice done to him within a short period of time, and will also safe on the nature of the punishment that will be laid upon him (Fisher, 2004).
Though plea bargaining has been in use by many, it has not yet been in constant praise. This is because of many reasons that have to be considered before an action is done. There is actually nor real victory for either the defendant or the prosecutor. On the side of the prosecutor, it is not actually enough for the prosecutor to offer admitted criminals sentences that are lighter than those prescribed by the law. Many prosecutors are compelled by the law to offer respective sentences and avoid lighter ones in place of heavier sentences. On the other hand, defendants are not much enthusiastic to publicly confess guilty of any particular case whether they are truly guilty or not.
Plea bargaining is considered unfair to the defendant. In many instances, this gives the prosecutor too much discretion to choose and make a decision over the nature of the charges that will be afflicted to the defendant. When the defendant is arrested and brought before the prosecutor, the prosecutor has full authority to spell any charge upon him depending on enough evidence that he or she has collected as regards to the nature of the offence. This will entirely depend on the facts that have been collected and brought to him. This probable case will not be in a position to prove a charge beyond any reasonable doubt. Though this is the standard that any prosecutor must meet at all times, it may not be the case if the defendant is given a chance to plead for a bargain. At the same time, the prosecutor may make many mistakes that will ruin the justice supposed to be offered to the defendant (McDonald, 1987).
Considering the fact that prosecutors are rated with respect to the amount of the charges that they have been able to pass, they will at all costs try to manage the entire trial process till the defendant is proved guilty and offered a respective sentence. In most cases, this sentence is determined by the prosecutor and not the evidences and data that have been collected. It has been proved in many cases that many prosecutors will coerce guilty pleas from defendants and moreover deprive them of the safeguards of the procedures and a full investigation of the process of trial. For instance, let us take a simple example,
Assume an individual has been arrested for trespassing. The court may choose to charge the defendant of many other offences of stalking and attempt of burglary, some even may not be true at the conscience of the defendant. At such an instance, the prosecutor has all the authority to spell the sentence and have the defendant prosecuted. The only activity that can rescue the defendant is to plead for a bargain. In this case, he will plead for being guilty in trespassing alone in order to avoid other charges of burglary and stalking being placed on him. This is also related to the situations where the judges overcharge the defendants as concerns the trials that they are supposed to go through. Due to the fact that the case is shortened, harsher sentences will be avoided from being pressed on the defendant.
It has been proved that apart from the defendants, the society also benefit from plea bargaining. This is because of the fact that both the prosecutor and the defendant are involved in a process of furnishing an appropriate punishment for the offence that has been committed. Moreover, the prosecutor will be able to get time to receive even more convictions. The anxiety over what to be convicted of the defendant is reduced among the individuals and the entire society when a plea for bargain is granted to the defendant. Moreover, the defendants will be able to receive less punishment than they would have received under a jury trial. This is because of the fact that the defendant will be convicted less of the other cases that would have been placed on him or her.
It is only in the United States of America that plea bargaining is universally practised in the courts of law. It is criticised in some states on the grounds that it is based on rewards, coercion over potential dangers and also it thwarts an effective legal outcome. Under article 8 of the European convention of the human rights, a coercive plea is against the rights of the individuals involved in a court case. This is one f the controversial issues as regards to plea bargaining (McConville & Mirsky, 2005).
Even under serious cases, the defendant would always want to plead guilty of lesser offences. This is considered to thwart the entire process of attaining to the justice that is expected of the court courts of law in the world. This is a situation that is against a perception that plea for bargaining is a short cut to the acquisition of justice. Infarct, this is a clear contradiction of the entire perception. Here, a criminal under serious offences can be lightly punished by the court of he pleads for a bargain. Moreover, an individual who clearly knows that he is innocent will always try to plead guilty over a lesser offence if he lacks enough evidence to prove that he is innocent. This is clearly a block of justice among individuals.
The other disadvantage of pleading for a bargain is that the costs of administering justice won't be reduced at many instances. The accused may be forced to plead for a bargain yet he knows that he is guilty, due to the testimonies by the suspects. In a situation where there is no pleading for a bargain, the defendant will be forced to suffer the entire period of a sentence yet with all the efforts that were done in trying to plead for a bargain (Rhodes, 1978).
Agency problem is one of the other factors that affect the plea for bargain. This is a problem that may affect all the principals who are inn the procedures of handling a case. A disagreement may occur due to the fact that an agreement of one of the judges with the defendant may not be the same for all the other judges.
In conclusion, plea bargaining is a voluntary action that takes the initiative of the individual implicated and the prosecutor who is to handle the case. This act is of benefit to both the prosecutor and the defendant of the case. To the prosecutor, it is a way of making sure that justice has been done no matter the nature of the offence that was committed. It is a way of shortening the rout to the acquisition of justice. Moreover, it helps the defendant to an opportunity to evade harsher measures being taken upon him as a result of committing a single crime (Heumann, 1981).
Contrary to this, plea for bargaining is an act that has been perceived to thwart a way to the acquisition of justice in many courts of law. An individual would decide to be guilty in order to avoid harsher sentences that he was supposed to be acquitted of. Moreover, it is a way in which individuals sell their rights to the prosecutor, an activity that is considered injustice in the society.