Posted: September 16th, 2022

CJ 500 3-1 Discussion: Plea Bargaining

For this discussion, first read:

  • Library Article: State incentives, plea-bargaining regulation, and the failed market for indigent defense
  • Library Article: The innocence effect
  • Library Article: Logical but Incompetent Plea Decisions: A New Approach to Plea Bargaining Grounded in Cognitive Theory

An overwhelming majority of criminal cases are settled by plea bargaining rather than by trial. If an individual has been charged with a crime, the prosecutor may offer a reduction of charge in exchange for a guilty plea. If individuals exercise their rights and demand a jury trial, it is more likely they will be charged with a more serious crime (as opposed to taking a lesser offense), and, if convicted, they will likely be given a longer sentence.

In your initial post, answer the following questions:

  • What are the criminological theories or rationale behind the plea bargaining process?
  • What strategy would you incorporate to remove the disparity in bargaining power?
  • What evidence-based argument would you use in dealing with this strategy?

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