Plea Bargaining is Unfair to the Victim


An act is not automatically a crime because it is hurtful or sinful. A crime in my opinion is when a person or persons intentionally violates the safety of an individual by breaking the law. I believe that plea bargaining can be an unfair process to the victims family and others because the offender can have the opportunity to take suspended sentence instead of a considerably harsher punishment. To answer the question the nature of the crime should affect the persons opportunity to plea bargain; Yes.

Pleas bargaining is said to be the most critical process in the criminal justice system. Plea bargaining is necessity for the judicial process, without it the courts may become overwhelmed with other criminals and delegating trials for every crime committed.Plea-bargaining is when the defendant agrees to settle a case with certain guidelines and conditions. The prosecution will ask the defendant for a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced or even suspended sentence. The prosecution may agree to reduce the amount of charges as well. The United States have been implementing pleas bargaining in the country for several hundreds years. Over time issues have resolved in term of defendants rights and specifically that the defendant has the right to have a trial by a jury

Those against the process of plea bargaining believe that criminals get away with breaking the law by allowing for lighter sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. I think those who commit violent crimes against another person should not have the opportunity for a plea bargaining because if they had a jury trial of their peers the evidence could be shown and essentially sentenced according to the nature of the crime and generally have a longer or harsher sentence. Eric Robert Rudolph is an American domestic terrorist who committed a series of bombings across the southern United States, which killed three people and injured at least 150 others. In 2005, Rudolph plead guilty to numerous federal and state homicide charges and accepted five consecutive life sentences in exchange for his plea, avoiding a trial and possibly facing the death penalty.( Schuster H.2005)

I think when a violent crime is committed and the defendant is offered a plea bargain the victim or victims family should be a part of the process and have a say. Prompted by victims' advocates, many jurisdictions have adopted consultation requirements, mandating that prosecutors seek input from victims before consummating deals with defendants. (Scott Henson 2010) The Trial process when convicting a criminal could be a long drawn out process for the victim and their families. Some believe that it could go two ways for a victim; either it will help them heal or cause new wounds. For the criminal a plea bargain in my opinion is a way for the criminal to take responsibility for his actions and be held accountable with the maximum punishment.

Although plea bargaining is often criticized, more than 90 percent of criminal convictions come from negotiated pleas. Thus, less than ten percent of criminal cases go to trial. For judges, the key incentive for accepting a plea bargain is to alleviate the need to schedule and hold a trial but the defendant still receives punishment for their actions. The process of a plea bargain is a cop out in my opinion for the criminal to get off easy and the prosecutor to still get a conviction.

References

Schuster H. (2005) Hunting Eric Rudolph Berkley Hardcover; 1St Edition edition(March1,2005)
Rudolph agrees to plea agreement (2005) retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com/2005-04-08/justice/rudolph.plea_1_emily-lyons-eric-robert-rudolph-atlanta-attacks?_s=PM:LAW
Scott Henson (2010)What role should crime victims play in plea bargains? Retrieved from http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-role-should-crime-victimsplayin.html

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