Plea bargains have long existed as a divisive topic among many individuals. Some believe it is a good thing and others, not so much.
As with many aspects of the law, plea bargains have their uses. They have the potential to help some and hurt others, and it is important to understand both of these sides.
The advantages of plea bargains
The U.S. Department of Justice discusses the potential positives and negatives to plea bargains. As far as positives go, plea bargains can help the court out by lessening caseloads. The court systems almost always take forever to get through important matters because of how backed up they are, and removing plea bargain cases can help with that.
It can also allow for aiding in larger cases. Many times, plea bargains get used on a suspect of a lesser crime in a case to harvest evidence or testimony against someone who may have committed a worse crime or taken a more active role in the crime in question.
Along those lines, many people also take plea bargains because it allows for the avoidance of maximum sentence penalties.
The cons of plea bargains
On the other side, some argue that plea bargains are not constitutional because it strips a person of their right to a trial by jury. If they feel coerced at any point into taking the bargain, it may be grounds for legal action.
On top of that, plea bargains can lead innocent people into claiming guilt just to avoid a harsher sentence for a crime they did not commit. This feels like a miscarriage of justice to many.
Thus, while plea bargains have both their benefits and downsides, whether it works for any one situation depends on the case and individuals in question.