Advantages and Disadvantages Essay
Plea bargaining can be seen as a contract between the accused and the prosecutor where the accused agrees to the terms of the contract. Should he fail to comply with the terms the prosecutor has a right to withdraw the opportunity. Some of the terms that may be explicit from the agreement could be: testifying against another suspect, pleading to another pre-agreed charge, and helping in the investigation of another crime.
Nevertheless, if the prosecutor fails to abide by his agreement with the accused and files for charges that he has previously agreed to set aside, the accused may seek a court order to compel the prosecutor to follow their previous agreement.
Distinguish between charge bargaining and sentence bargaining
A in situation where a prosecutor offers the accused an opportunity to plead to a lesser charge or in situation where the accused has a number of charges to plead guilty to some of them. For instance if the accused is accused of a crime such as murder the prosecutor can allow him to plead to a lesser charge of manslaughter. Additionally, if the accused faces charges about drunken driving without proper licensing he could plead guilty to drunken driving or driving without proper authorization.
On the other hand, sentence bargaining occurs in situations where the accused is informed well in advance the sentence that will follow the trial for his charge. This allows him to plead guilty to the said crime without the fear of being handed a much severe sentence. The prosecutor can use this option if he feels that the trial is likely to from the media and thereby reduce the backlash that could result should he allow the accused to plead to a lesser charge.
However in situations where the trial judge has approved it. Nonetheless, a lot of jurisdictions prohibits sentence bargain (Heumann 1981).
Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of plea bargaining
Davies, Croall & Tyrer (1995) argues that some of the advantages which could accrue from a the fact that the accused has an opportunity to plead to a lesser crime. However, this benefit could only accrue to a person who committed that crime. Nonetheless, if the accused never committed the crime for which he is accused, he could feel as though he was being unjustly accused and he could appeal against the said charge.