A Review of the Literature: Plea Bargaining and Ethics in the Criminal Justice System

1928 words 8 pages
| A Review of the Literature: Plea Bargaining and Ethics in the Criminal Justice System | | |

Plea bargaining is a significant portion of today’s criminal justice system. As Chief Justice Burger stated, “The disposition of criminal charges by agreement between the prosecutor and the accused, sometimes loosely called ‘plea bargaining,’ is an essential component of the administration of justice. Properly administered, it is to be encouraged” (Santobello v. New York, 1971). The practice of plea bargaining has generated thoughtful ethical debate with effective arguments on both sides. Prior to offering an opinion, an understanding and comparison of the points of view regarding its use along with the purpose, types, and
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Notwithstanding its adverse characteristic, sentence bargaining is an exceedingly significant portion of the system (Covey, 2013). This method of bargaining is advantageous in cases where the prosecution does not have a solid case to assure a conviction, or in the absence of sufficient evidence to meet the requirements for a death penalty case. The supporting argument is the use of sentence bargaining in capital cases guarantees the conviction and punishment of the defendant. A suspect facing multiple charges could be offered an agreement designated as count bargaining. Particularly, a proposal is prepared to decrease the quantity of charges, customarily by dismissal if the offender agrees to plead guilty to the reduced charges. For example, an arrestee, indicted for several counts of possession of a controlled substance, is presented with a reduction to just one count in exchange for pleading guilty. This choice of bargaining results in a deceptive criminal history accompanied by a greatly abbreviated penalty (Bushway & Redlich, 2012). Count bargaining’s solitary benefit is its simplification of the case presented to the court.
This controversial topic embraces effective arguments by both of those who support and those who oppose the usage of plea bargaining (McConville, 1998). There are several urgings in support of plea bargains. Followers contend that a plea bargain can be