Sample Criminal Justice Essays On Plea Bargaining

Homework Question on Plea Bargaining

  • Answer the following scenario questions in essay style (go in-depth in your response).
  • Use APA format to cite sources.
  1. What is plea bargaining? Can a defendant plead guilty without plea bargaining?
  2. Summarize the arguments against plea bargaining.
  3. What has been done in response to criticisms of plea bargaining?
  4. Describe ad hoc plea bargaining.
  • Cite some examples.

Homework Answer on Plea Bargaining


Plea-bargaining has been the subject of criticism for its requirement of defendants to accept charges without proceeding to trial. Despite arguments that the practice enhances efficiency in the criminal justice system, critics have argued that it features bias towards the interests of the prosecution at the expense of the constitutional rights of defendants. This paper discusses the process of plea-bargaining and arguments against it, offering real examples to illustrate the argument that the practice violates the rights of defendants to free and public trials, denies them the opportunity to cross-examine prosecution witnesses and present defense witnesses, and violates their rights against self-incrimination.

Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining involves an agreement between the prosecuting team and the defendant in a criminal case in which the defendant accepts guilt to a particular charge in exchange for a concession or discount from the prosecuting team. Often, such agreement involves the requirement for the defendant to accept a less serious charge, or to one of several possible charges, in exchange for the prosecuting team’s dismissal of a more serious charge or other charges (Lynch, 2003).

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At other times, the prosecution may require the defendant to accept the original charge in exchange for a sentence that is less severe than that which the crime merits. Plea bargaining saves both the prosecuting and defending teamsfrom a lengthy and costly trial process, while the defendant often benefits from avoidance of the risk of conviction on a charge that is more serious than the one which he/she accepts in a plea bargaining arrangement (Lynch, 2003).