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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Indiana
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    2

    Default The Effect of Plea Agreements on the Justice System

    I'm doing research on a paper about the effects of doing away with plea agreements in the criminal justice system, but am having a hard time finding useful information. Can anyone direct me to a good web site on this topic?

    thanks in advance
    Michelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    759

    Default Eliminating Plea Bargains

    The general opinion I have heard over the years is that the elimination of plea bargains would lead to gridlock. Even in those jurisdictions which claim to have a "no plea bargain" policy, those policies tend to be limited to a narrow set of offenses, and when they aren't they usually mean "We engage in charge bargaining, but not sentence bargaining" or vice versa.

    You may have some luck if you stop by a law school law library, as any given law school library should have a searchable database of law review articles. It seems likely that there are law review articles on the effects of plea bargaining (or its elimination).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks!

    I was able to get some information on Alaska's prohibition on plea bargains in 1975. They didn't have any gridlock from what I've read so far. Something like that might work in low crime areas, but if it happened here in NW Indiana the system would likely come to a grinding halt. I have to wonder what good any kind of bargaining does for the defendant as it doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent. Seems more like a slap on the wrist to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    759

    Default Plea Bargains

    Plea bargains are intended as an incentive to the defendant to plead guilty. Particulary with sentencing guidelines, a charge bargain may have little impact on a sentence, although it can sometimes have other significant practical effects (e.g., pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense to avoid being found guilty of a felony).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: The effect of plea agreements on the justice system

    Plea bargains induce prosecutors to overinflate charges and intimidate defendants, then they offer to reduce the charges to something more 'reasonable' if the defendant pleads guilty -- the process is thus very corrupt and abusable, and this is why a number of European nations don't allow plea bargains.

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