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A closer look at plea bargains and why they exist

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2018 | Appeals |

If there was a formal trial for every single criminal in Oregon who was ever accused of committing a crime, there would be too much work and not enough professionals to take care of the job. As such, it is imperative that legal professionals find alternative means to leveling just punishments on those who have broken the law, without wasting time and resources in time-consuming negotiations about a criminal’s proposed punishment.

According to Cornell Law School, plea bargains are designed to reduce the amount of time that each criminal case takes as it moves throughout the legal system. In severe cases, plea bargains are not considered and alleged criminals go to trial where objective persons can hear the witness accounts and testimonies of people who may have been involved in the case. When a prosecutor offers a plea deal to his or her client, the accused may admit to specific charges in exchange for a lesser sentence or some other type of compromise. Additionally, criminals may be asked to testify in other trials where their testimony may be used to persuade a jury one way or another. 

The Slate discusses how one of the most opposed issues with plea bargaining is the number of people who are innocent but have been accused of a crime they did not commit. These people may often be inclined to accept a plea bargain even though it means admitting to something they never did. The idea behind their reasoning is often a chance at avoiding an exceptionally long sentence that they may otherwise be required to serve had their case gone through trial.