Explain the plea bargaining process.


Prior to beginning work on this video presentation, read Plea and Charge Bargaining: Research Summary (Links to an external site.) and The Unnecessary Evil of Plea Bargaining: An Unconstitutional Conditions Problem and a Not-So-Least Restrictive Alternative (Links to an external site.). Additionally, watch Due Process: Let’s Make a Deal: The Plea Bargain (Aired 12/9/12) (Links to an external site.).

Well over 90% of criminal cases in the United States are concluded  through a plea bargain—a significant number of those for the crime  initially charged (the defendant does not plead guilty to a lesser crime  than charged). As future criminal justice professionals, it is  important for you to fully understand the purposes, goals, and  procedures for plea agreements. In this video presentation, weigh the  significance of plea bargains and the impact eliminating them would have  upon the criminal justice system. Pay close attention to the limited  role that judges play in plea bargains.

  • Explain the plea bargaining process.
  • List the elements of a valid plea bargain.
  • Define the role of a judge in the plea bargaining process.
  • Create and provide an opinion on whether plea bargaining is a benefit to the United States criminal justice system and why. 
    • If you are in favor of continuing plea bargaining, address arguments against its continued prevalence.
    • If you are against continuing plea bargaining, address arguments for its continued prevalence.

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