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Homework answers / question archive / CJ101: INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE M4D1: Considerations for plea bargaining Plea bargaining circumvents the trial process and dramatically reduces the time required for the resolution of a criminal case

CJ101: INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE M4D1: Considerations for plea bargaining Plea bargaining circumvents the trial process and dramatically reduces the time required for the resolution of a criminal case

Sociology

CJ101: INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE

M4D1: Considerations for plea bargaining

Plea bargaining circumvents the trial process and dramatically reduces the time required for the resolution of a criminal case. Some prosecutors and public defenders often scramble to play “Let’s make a deal” to reduce the long waiting time before a trial begins and to reduce the enormous backlogs faced by many courts. While some critics refer to plea bargaining as “assembly line justice” and a denial of a speedy trial and full due process rights, others argue that many defendants prefer to plea bargain their cases rather than to languish in overcrowded jails awaiting a jury trial -- which may result in a longer sentence; however, some prosecutors prefer not to plea bargain and carefully consider many different factors if they do decide to plea bargain.

Before responding to the discussion question:

After reading the assignments and lectures, viewing the PowerPoint presentations and videos, and participating in the activity above, you now have a better understanding of the issues surrounding plea bargaining, including whether to plea bargain or to go to trial. For this discussion, address the following topic:

  • You are a prosecutor presenting the defense attorney a plea offer that does NOT reduce the criminal charge and offers a very small reduction in the sentence recommendation for the defendant. Discuss which of the factors listed below you gave the greatest weight when deciding to make such a get tough offer.

    Factors: Employment status, drug history, age of defendant, prior felony arrests, juvenile record, probation or parole at time of arrest, detained, offense type, and amount of evidence against the defendant. You can also choose other factors not listed here, if they are more important to you.

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