Sample Criminal Justice Research Paper on Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining

A plea bargain is an agreement between a prosecutor and the defense, in which the accused pleads guilty to a given charge in exchange for concessions from the prosecutor. Due to the agreement, the accused pleads guilty of original charges in exchange for dismissal of charges or a light sentence.

It is argued that plea-bargaining enables litigants to avert prolonged and expensive criminal trials. In addition, it allows the accused to steer clear of sentence and serious charges. For instance, if one is charged with a serious robbery charge, he/she can be offered a chance to plead guilty to minor robbery charges. For instance, in the U.S., the plea bargaining method is preferred during the administration of justice, compared to jury trials due to its effectiveness and expedition.

There has been the backdrop of continued debate and scrutiny on the effectiveness of plea-bargaining in adjudication and its possible role as an impediment in dispensation of the very justice to litigants, with arguments whether there is an alternative to this deal.

Thus, this paper will come up with a number of interview questions for use in an interview of an attorney, to get his/her opinion on the role of plea-bargaining in dispensation of justice.

The interview questions

What are the benefits and demerits of a plea-bargain system? Is it an alternative and practical compromise to settle criminal cases, as compared to abbreviated trials?

Does plea bargaining breach on the rights of the accused to fair trial, as the accused can be able to accept that he or she is guilty of a minor offense or relinquish such action even if there is lack of evidence through coercion?

Does plea bargaining consider victims’ rights, public interest and respect defendants’ rights or does it encourage the accused to plead guilty simply to avoid the chances of bigger sentences, even if they are unlikely to deserve the conviction?

What is the impact of the use of compulsion in plea-bargaining? Does it jeopardize the desired legal result?

What is the function of the prosecutor in a plea bargain apart from ensuring proper procedural, public, and judicial confidence? Does a plea bargain give him/her great and unnecessary power to wield against the suspect during concession?

What are the roles of a judge and defense lawyer in plea-bargaining?

Does a plea-bargain torture and condemn the accused without fair trial in case one does not bow to the prosecutor’s demands?

Who does the plea-bargaining benefit? Does the system lessen the expenses incurred in delivering justice compared to a jury trial?

Why is a plea-bargaining arrangement suitable in common law system than in a jurisdiction operating under the civil law system?

What is the general role of plea-bargaining in protecting the rights of defense, rights of suspects, right to fair trial, and preservation of innocence until proven guilty? Does it uphold these rights?

Does plea agreement require the approval of a law court to affect its legal binding or is it just an arrangement between the prosecutor and defense?

What is the importance of the victim in plea consensus during the negotiations?

Prosecutors face pressures and challenges from different quarters to secure convictions through pleas; can this undermine fair trials, and how can this be prevented?

Is the society aware of the availability of plea bargaining arrangements, and if not, would you advice them to choose it?

Does the use of plea bargaining indicate collapse or failure of a jury trial?

What is the solution and alternative to plea-bargaining?