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Plea bargaining is a core element of the criminal justice system in the United States. Plea bargains allow defendants to turn in a guilty plea to get sentences that are more lenient (Lynch 22). Prosecutors play a central role in plea-bargaining, as they are responsible for convincing criminals to accept the terms of the plea bargain. Some advantages of plea bargaining include easing the workload for prosecutors and judges, reducing overcrowding in courts and that it is economical to the defendant in respect of finances and time consumed by a trial (FindLaw 1). Notably, the main beneficiaries of plea bargaining are judges, prosecutors and defendants which raises the question regarding the place of the victim whose interests are supposedly at the heart of the criminal justice system.

Undeniably, plea bargaining has set a bad trend in the criminal justice system by neglecting the interests of the victims. Indeed, a victim has high expectations that the justice system provides the platform where he or she seeks legal redress for crimes that violate her rights as guaranteed under the Constitution. However, when the system turns into justice in a “commodity” that can be subjected to bargaining, it negates the very law that it is supposed to uphold. Obviously, the victims do not get justice for the crimes committed against them as the criminals get away with lighter sentences. Although there is the possibility of acquittal when a case goes trial, the prosecutor in conjunction with the investigating authorities should do a thorough job in gathering and collecting evidence. Consequently, they are in a position to present a watertight case against the defendant. Certainly, plea bargaining offers the prosecutor and investigating authorities a way of avoiding the illustrious work of gathering evidence against the defendant. Of course, this means that they are not discharging their duties effectively and meeting public expectations.

Works Cited

Lynch, Timothy. “The Case Against Plea Bargaining.” Cato Institute, n.d. Web 5 March 2016

“Plea Bargains: In Depth.” FindLaw, n.d. Web 5 March 2016.

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