In the United States, Plea-Bargaining Undermines the Criminal Justice System

The question we are debating today is whether or not plea-bargaining undermines the Criminal justice system? The job of the Criminal justice system is to protect the citizens of the United States. How are we protecting them if we give criminals shorter sentences than they deserve? When we plea bargain we release more criminals back into the streets and put citizens of the United States’ safety at risk. A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant.The United states department of justice’s mission statement reads: To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. This statement is being undermined because not every criminal is paying their “fair” amount of dues. My first contention is that Plea Bargaining is unjust.Often times people plea-bargain in exchange for testimony this gives the accomplice an incentive to fabricate the truth. With this chance to lie you are creating an unfair judicial procedure. In theory, a petty criminal who is not very important is supposed to testify against a very important criminal in exchange for some sort of reward and there is supposed to be more justice because you’ve put the more important criminal away. However, since the reward is a reduced sentence, the incentive for most criminals is to give any testimony at all even if it is false.This is what is happening now and it is clear that this is undermining the criminal justice system. Justice is concerned with giving each their due. If someone is innocent, justice requires that they be found innocent and vice versa. My second contention is that trials are a necessary condition for justice. Trials are a necessary condition for justice because trials are a discovery process, where evidence and testimony are weighed to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.The standard way of deciding whether a criminal is guilty and deciding that criminal’s punishment takes place in a court of law during trials. Plea bargaining often times leads to not having a trial, and without a trial the system is undermined because not everyone is getting the same treatment therefore plea bargaining is unjust. According to an article called The Plea on PBS. com , “It is the centerpiece of America’s judicial process: the right to a trial by jury system that places a defendant’s fate in the hands of a jury of one’s peers.But it may surprise many to learn that nearly 95 percent of all cases resulting in felony convictions never reach a jury, but instead are settled through plea bargains, in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. This shows that almost every time a criminal is accused of a crime he is not treated the way that he was intended to be treated. ” It is evident that plea-bargaining undermines the criminal justice system because of this fact alone.Criminals were intended to have their fates determined in a trial by jury. In conclusion plea-bargaining replaces formal trials with an automatic conviction, usually at reduced sentence. Guilt is never established. The truly guilty get off with a lesser punishment, while the truly innocent are unjustly harmed. It also creates flawed system because testimony gained by plea-bargaining may be unreliable, and this unreliable evidence may lead to less justice in other cases.