The Importance of Plea Bargaining in Criminal Trials
Screeech! That is the sound of our court system coming to a grinding halt, if plea bargaining were no longer utilized. Not only does plea bargaining save taxpayers an enormous amount of money, it often provides the evidence for a conviction and allows public defenders and other court officials to concentrate their limited resources on more important or difficult cases. Some people may believe that plea bargaining with criminals is wrong. The entire basis of the argument against plea bargaining says that criminals should not testify or have anything to do with the prosecution because they were involved with the crime. We fail to realize that without plea bargaining many criminals would never be punished for their crimes at all. It is as simple as that. Granted, a plea bargain is, by definition, a compromise. But it is a compromise that is absolutely necessary for the judicial system to function.
While it may seem that a person who exchanges his testimony for a lighter sentence would have sufficient motivation to lie in court the fact is that his testimony is simply verifying the testimonies of other witnesses. In a majority of cases plea bargains is utilized to ensure that the truly guilty criminal is punished. In our less than perfect world, plea bargaining is easily the lesser of the evils.
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Americans have always emphasized getting a job done. We place a great deal of value on efficiency and industry. The government is expected to run with efficiency and operate with the good of the people in mind. Every aspect of our lives is governed by this utilitarian value. Why do we place such importance on efficiency? Because without it nothing would ever...