Should the nature of the crime affect the defendant’s opportunity to plea bargain?Plea bargaining is another controversial practice in the American judicial system. Should the nature of the crime...

Should the nature of the crime affect the defendant’s opportunity to plea bargain?

Plea bargaining is another controversial practice in the American judicial system. Should the nature of the crime affect the defendant’s opportunity to plea bargain?

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with the above post.  Prohibiting the ability of prosecutors to agree to a plea bargain in any situation compromises the way they do their job. In some situations, particularly those of sexual assault, it can be difficult to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the absence of physical evidence, so the plea bargain is a way they can get prison time and a criminal record for offenders without taking the risk of acquittal and nothing happening to them at all.

Requiring a trial for that kind of violent crime, besides being expensive and time consuming, would not necessarily reduce the violent crime rate or make society any safer.  And if a policy does not result in either of those two, I'd say it would be an unwise policy.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I do not think that there should be any rules against plea bargains for people accused of committing more serious crimes.  The reason I say this is that legal scholars tend to argue that plea bargaining is a process that tends to work against defendants anyway.

Prosecutors will not typically allow a plea bargain (and they are in charge of offerring these) if they think they can win a jury trial for a more serious crime.  Therefore, I do not really think there is much danger of serious criminals getting off easy via plea bargain.

niknakpattywak's profile pic

niknakpattywak | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

!HELP!

Wow those are great posts and both have great points in them. However, I still need help as far as the WHY part goes. WHY should the nature of the crime affect the defendant’s opportunity to plea bargain?

The example that keeps comming to mind is, should a murderer have the same oppertunity to plea bargin as a thief has? I feel that the answer is "No", and the nature of the crime should most deffinatly affect the deffendants oppertunity to plea bargain. However, I am unable to properly word my explanation as to WHY!

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