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Pleabargaining is the process whereby the prosecutor and defendant reacha mutual agreement in disposition of a criminal case. This can helpterminate a criminal case without a trial. The defendant pleadsguilty to less serious charges and in return the jury dismissescertain charges. Abolition of plea bargaining raises issues offairness, rights and just punishment (Fisher et al., 25). To startwith, plea bargaining should be abolished as it is unfair. This isbecause the defendants forfeit their rights to trial. A personsuspected of guilt should be brought to justice to prove hisinnocence. In addition, giving lighter sentences to criminals leadsto unjust sentences where the punishment is lenient as compared tothe crime committed. Further, plea bargaining force innocent peopleplead guilty of crimes that they never committed (Harr et al., 18).
Onthe other hand, plea bargaining saves courts, prosecution and thedefendant the cost of participating to trial. Further, it allowscriminal punishments less severe. Majority of the criminal cases takelong before judgment, and thus plea bargaining is an administrativenecessity that help reduce case files in courts.
Prosecutorialdiscretion is the authority that prosecuting attorneys have. Theprosecutor is the most powerful person in the criminal justicesystem. They decide which criminal charges to file or drop andrecommend sentences. Their decisions are based on the seriousness ofthe offence, sufficiency of the evidence, defendant’s criminalrecord and the willingness to participate (Fisher et al., 36). Pleabargaining has received more criticisms for permitting prosecutorstoo much discretion as compared to judges who are mandated tosentencing. Prosecutors are found to use threats in coercingdefendants to accept the plea to secure conviction when the evidenceis insufficient (Harr et al., 46).
Prosecutorialdiscretion should be minimized to ensure fairness to all. Some of theaspects that should be eliminated include forcing one to pleadguilty in order to face lesser charges and their decision on whetherto prosecute or dismiss an individual (Harr et al., 53). It has beenevidenced that prosecutorial discretion results in harsh penaltiesfor the defendants that opt going on trial, rather than accepting aplea.
Fisher,George. PleaBargaining`s Triumph: A History of Plea Bargaining in America.Stanford, Calif: Stanford Univ. Press, 2009. Print.
Harr,J S, Kären M. Hess, and Christine M. H. Orthmann. ConstitutionalLaw and the Criminal Justice System.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.