Plea Bargains and Mandatory Sentencing Essay

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Plea Bargains and Mandatory Sentencing

I would like to take this time to explain my position on Plea Bargains and Mandatory Sentencing. I will show both pros and cons for each topic, as well as give you my personal brief on which one I support.

There are two types of plea bargains : The first one is a charge bargain. When the prosecutor allows a defendant to "plead guilty to a lesser charge”, or to only some of the charges that have been filed against him. For example, a defendant charged with burglary may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to "attempted burglary". A defendant charged with Drunk Driving and Driving with License Suspended may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to just the drunk driving
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I do not agree that we should offer someone a sentence bargain. If the individual committed the crime then he/she should have to do the time. So, when Justice Stewart wrote in Blackledge v. Allison that plea bargaining “can benefit all concerned”, I think that is only partly correct. Sure it benefits defendants, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, but what about the victims or their families. I like what District Attorney Gibbons was trying to do, if it was all or none with no exceptions. The only time that I feel that plea bargains should not be used is in any murder or rape charge.

The second thing we must look at is mandatory sentencing. I agree that we should have mandatory sentencing. You can read different studies that it does not work and it takes power away from judges. Sometimes trial rates and sentencing delays occur because of mandatory sentencing. Just think of how many repeat offenders we would have if it was not in place. I do think that it is somewhat of a deterrent for the small time users on the street. Research has shown that it is the low-level street dealers, mules and addicts that this affects most, but if we didn’t start with them then where? You must punish the user just as much as the dealer or “kingpins”. The dealers would not have any business if it was not for the users and if we can get to them easier than the main dealers, than I am all for mandatory sentencing.

As you can see I’m for mandatory sentencing and for