Calling Your Bluff: How Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys Adapt Plea Bargaining Strategies to Increased Formalization
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Calling Your Bluff: How Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys Adapt Plea Bargaining Strategies to Increased Formalization by Deirdre M. Bowen
People have long debated whether plea bargaining is the best way to handle felony cases in the justice system. This article focuses on a reformed, institutionalized way to plea bargain. The author researches the King County Prosecutors rationalized approach to the way the Early Plea Unit handles their cases.
Ms. Bowen states in her article that all authors reviewed agree that, “plea bargaining under an imbalanced system does not achieve justice, much less arrive at something that resembles empirical or legal truth, institutionalized plea bargaining best resembles the criminal justice system’s…show more content… Also, if the case skips the EPU, negotiations are prohibited. The problem with these rules was that second rule was clearly being violated. One attorney that was interviewed said that he was pushing to get all of his cases pushed directly to trial for two reasons. The first reason was that he didn’t have to waste his time in the EPU. The other was that the trail team would not be hampered by the first rule. His case went through the EPU and the plea deals were documented, the trial would be limited as to what they could offer.
One negotiating attorney to make plea arrangements with approximately fifty defense attorneys would lend to greatly increased wait times with this system. There would be an obvious bottle neck at this stage that would not only put pressure on the defense teams, but also on the prosecuting attorney. According to the article, continuances are a common occurrence. A continuance puts the defense in a bind by delaying negotiations and possible plea deals. We must remember that the defendant is the loser in the delay especially if he is sitting in jail waiting on the “process” to get out. Also, if the negotiating attorney is out of the office the defense has effectively lost another day. They don’t want the headache that comes with the unpredictability of dealing with a substitute.
The conclusion reached in this article is that too much power is given to the