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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120495 Find in a Library
Title: Plea Discussions and Agreements
Corporate Author: Law Reform Cmssn of Canada
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 101
Sponsoring Agency: Law Reform Cmssn of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OL6, Canada
Publication Number: ISBN 0-662-56809-5
Sale Source: Law Reform Cmssn of Canada
130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OL6,
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: The Law Reform Commission of Canada recommends that, through legislative controls, uniform guidelines, and judicial supervision, the process known as "plea bargaining" should be opened up, more closely regulated, and given a more neutral name of plea discussions and agreements.
Abstract: Traditionally, those favoring abolition of plea negotiations feel the process is degrading to and manipulative of the criminal justice system, while those favoring its retention justify the practice on grounds of economics and expediency. Using a national survey, the Commission found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians disapproved of plea negotiations, but that this disapproval diminished when various hypothetical situations involving more structured and open processes were presented. The recommendations, which require that plea agreements be disclosed in open court, would promote equality in prosecutorial treatment, discourage unfair negotiation practices, and discourage undue leniency. Limited judicial supervision would make the process more visible and the participants more accountable by ascertaining the accuracy of guilty pleas and ensuring informed decisions by the accused. In addition, the Commission suggests that prosecutors solicit and weigh the views of any victim prior to concluding a plea agreement in order to protect victims' rights and maintain public confidence. 370 footnotes, 2 appendixes.
Main Term(s): Structured plea negotiations
Index Term(s): Canada; Public Opinion of Corrections; Sentencing guidelines
Note: Working Paper 60
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