Plea Bargaining Essay

Prosecutors and judges have many duties and roles. What do you believe is the most important prosecutorial role? What is the most important judicial role? Who do you think is more influential—the prosecutor or the judge? Provide rationale for your position. A prosecutor has many duties but the main goal is being the “people of the state”; ensuring the crime fits and is carried out against the suspected criminal.

Prosecutors makes recommendations about sentencing, engaging in selecting jurors for trials, present facts to a grand jury for further going of a trial and other duties to ensure that the law is carried out. A judge has many roles as well but their main concern is sitting on a case, listening to the facts that are brought forth and decide the most fair of sentencing. Primarily, a judge is in a courtroom to ensure justice is served. A judge in my opinion is the most influential.

Judges are the supreme officer of the court. Judges have the say from deciding if a defendant is competent enough to stand trial before the trial to ensuring that the appropriate sentence is given at the end of the trial. Judges have concerns outside of the courtroom as well. A judge must also perform the administrative duties of the court to keep a smooth operating courtroom and keep all dockets low. Describe plea bargaining. How effective are plea bargains at streamlining the criminal courts system?

What are some purposes and strengths of plea bargaining other than streamlining the criminal courts system? Does the practice of plea bargaining have any weaknesses? If so, what are they? Explain. Plea bargaining is an agreement between both the prosecutor and the defense attorney. Both parties discuss the criminal charges against the defendant and to agree on a reduced or modified sentencing. The effectiveness of the plea bargain is to spare the state the cost of a trial and reduce the defendant’s term of imprisonment.

The strengths work in the favor of the defendant and defense lawyer by reducing charges, removal of charges and sentence negotiations. A plea bargain also ensures the prosecutor can seek justice for the families of victims. The disadvantages of a plea bargain in some cases makes the criminal justice system become “soft” on criminals by allowing for lighter sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. Plea bargains cause more grief to the families of the victim because the defendant maybe back on the streets with no closure for the family or victim.

Even though a judge and prosecutor may agree to a plea bargain, the courts still have the final determination and for whatever reason the reason the court rejects the plea the case goes to full trial. As well as, once the agreement is signed the defendant has no opportunity for an appeal at a later date because of pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Not to mention, that some innocent defendants may accept a plea bargain based upon a fear of the penalty if convict a habitual criminal offenders may end up back to the public to commit the same or more serious crime.