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NCJ Number: 98996 Find in a Library
Title: Plea Bargaining - A Necessary Tool
Journal: Connecticut Law Review  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1984)  Pages:1015-1019
Author(s): D B Wright
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although plea bargaining has been criticized on various grounds, it is an essential component of the criminal justice system; despite perceived flaws, it provides the flexibility necessary to administer justice in an overburdened court system.
Abstract: Although prosecutors are responsible for prosecuting crimes, they also must decide what cases should not be prosecuted and which should be prosecuted for other than the arrest charge. There are many reasons for a prosecutor's negotiating with a defendant's attorney to secure a guilty plea to a charge reduced from the arrest charge. Evidence supporting the more serious charge may be weak, and a jury trial is unpredictable, expensive, and time-consuming. Penalties may also be too harsh for the crime initially charged, and the defendant may have aided the prosecutor in another proceeding, warranting some mitigation in treatment. In Santobello v. New York, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that plea bargaining is an essential component of the administration of justice in that it produces prompt and usually final disposition of most criminal cases, precluding lengthy pretrial confinement or pretrial release. The Court also argued that plea bargaining enhances the prospects of offender rehabilitation by shortening the time between charge and disposition. Twenty-three footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Court case flow; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutorial screening
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