Plea-Bargaining: A True Bargain or a Bad Deal?

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Plea-bargaining: A true bargain or a bad deal? In an ideal world, there would be no plea-bargaining and everyone would simply receive justice. Plea-bargaining admittedly has many problems, most notably the fact that guilty individuals may end up being set free, because they possess knowledge about criminal activity. Individuals may agree to testify against former criminal associates in exchange for a reduced sentence. Unfortunately, there are very few innocent individuals who have extensive knowledge about the internal operations of criminal activity. One question to ask: is it better to reduce the sentence of a lower-level drug dealer, so as to put a major drug kingpin behind bars? Most prosecutors would answer in the affirmative. Even when individuals involved in organized crime who are admitted murderers plea-bargain, the ability to dismantle a major crime organization is deemed to be more important than the injustice done by allowing a witness guilty of a crime to accept a plea. It is also important to remember that plea-bargaining does not always mean that an individual is set free. Plea-bargaining deals may be arranged for reduced sentences, for example, or greater mercy shown to the defendant. For more minor sentences in which the accused admits guilt, plea-bargaining also gives the defendant greater choice. By plea-bargaining for a reduced sentence, the state does not have to bear the costs of the trial and the victims are spared the stress of having to testify

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