What are some of the cons of plea bargaining?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The only real motivation the accused has to enter into a plea bargain arrangement with a prosecutor is that it almost always means a lesser charge will be applied, or more lenient sentencing will take place.

For that reason, someone who commits a gruesome murder or otherwise violent attack might be charged with manslaughter, or indecent liberties as opposed to murder or rape, and with a much lighter sentence for those crimes, one could argue that justice is not being served.

What's more, many who enter into plea bargains are minorities or the poor, who, on advice of a public defender or the attorney they can afford, plead guilty even if they are innocent because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that they will be convicted nmo matter what, so they might as well get the best deal possible.  This isn't justice either.