Plea Bargaining in Criminal Justice System Discussion

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Plea bargaining is used in criminal justice to provide the accused with the opportunity to accept a reduced punishment or a reduction in the charge in exchange for a guilty plea at the arraignment or at trial. The prosecutor makes an offer to the defense attorney who notifies the client. The client will either accept or reject the offer.

Many people see plea bargaining as an easy way to avoid going to trial.

Research and discuss the following questions:

Is it ethical for the prosecutor to offer plea bargaining

  • If the prosecutor's case is weak and there is doubt about the guilt of the offender?
  • If the prosecutor offers a lesser sentence in exchange for information about other suspects in the same or other cases?

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part two

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Over 90 percent of all criminal cases are settled through plea bargaining instead of going to trial. This concept is based on the premise that no innocent person would admit guilt to something they did not do. This concept however has been proven flawed. In cases where a defendant may face a sentence of 25 years and gets a plea bargain of only 6 years in exchange for admission of guilt, it may be tempting to not risk a trial and possible loss for the longer sentence. This concept is considered to be coercive plea bargaining, when you have an offender plead guilty even though innocent due to the prosecutor’s hard tactics (Alkon, 2017). I believe if they do not have enough evidence to support a conviction, a plea bargain should not be offered or taken, unless all information regarding the case is disclosed to both parties. This is a slippery slope to navigate in regards to fairness. I do believe a plea bargain is fair if you know the person is guilty, but is willing to give more information in regards to others involved in the crime. This takes more criminals off the streets and helps protect the public. It may also unravel details in a case never caught before.

Alkon, Cynthia. (26, March 2017). Hard Bargaining in Plea Bargaining: When do Prosecutors Cross the Line? Retrieved from:

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Plea Bargaining
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Plea Bargaining

In the criminal justice system, most of the criminal cases presented in courts are settled
through plea bargaining. The prosecutor holds the notion that a suspect cannot plead guilty of a
crime they did not commit. “The general assumption is that without guilty pleas, the criminal
justice system would grind to a “screeching halt” (Turner, 2017). The attorney in defense of the
suspect is asked by the prosecutor to offer their client a favorable form of punishment for their
crime if they choose to plead guilty. In the event, the client decides to either accept to plead
guilty or not. Plea bargaining is a tricky situation for the client, and that is where the ethical part
of it sets in. Plea bargaining has been used to solve ...

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