Plea Bargain

1106 WordsJan 16, 20135 Pages
Brittany Rulli According to Timothy Sandefur’s In Defense of Plea Bargaining article, “a plea bargain is a contract with the state. The defense agrees to plead guilty to a lesser crime and receive a lesser sentence, rather than go to trial on a more severe charge where he faces the possibility of a harsher sentence.” We are also told in The New York Times Article; Federal Law on Sentencing is Unjust, Judge Rules that “about 97 percent of federal criminal convictions nationwide were the result of plea bargains.” In a Frontline Program- The Plea we watched in class there were interviews of people involved in three separate cases that had involved the plea bargain. In this video a man named Charles Gampero had gotten into a…show more content…
As I had previously stated, plea bargains are both helpful and harmful to people, depending on their situation. In The Defense of Plea Bargaining article we learned about the Bordenkircher v. Hayes case. In this case Paul Lewis Hayes was charged with a crime punished with a 2-10 year sentence. The prosecutor had offered Hayes a plea bargain of 5 years if he had plead guilty and told him that if he did not take the plea he would “indict him under the state’s Habitual Criminal Act. Because he was a repeat offender, conviction under the Act meant a lifetime sentence.” Hayes had took the case to trial and gotten a life sentence. If I had been in Hayes’ situation I would have plea guilty and took the 5 years as soon as I had heard that I could get life imprisonment because of the state’s Habitual Criminal Act. On the other hand, if I was in Patsy Kelly Jarret’s situation in the Frontline Program-The Plea I would have done the same as her and taken it to trial. If I had known I was innocent and knew that the only evidence against me was someone saying it was me at the gas station that night I would have believed that I could have won the case. I believe that plea bargains are very important to the U.S. criminal justice system. Without having plea bargains our criminal justice system would be
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