In Defense of Plea Bargaining: Answering Critics' Objections
In Defense of Plea Bargaining: Answering Critics’ Objections, ___ W. ST. U. L. REV. ___ (2020 Forthcoming)
42 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2020
Date Written: 2020
Unfortunately, even many advocates for plea bargaining view the practice as something that should merely be tolerated as the lesser of two evils. While plea bargaining has its flaws, the practice rarely receives the credit it deserves for the benefits it provides to the criminal justice system. This Article presents the case in favor of plea bargaining.
Reading abolitionist literature, it quickly becomes apparent that their distaste for plea bargaining is rooted in numerous misconceptions. These include a distorted view of innocence, the belief in a fictional “right to leniency,” a revisionist view of previous attempts at abolishment, and the ignoring of how plea bargaining benefits the defendant and the rehabilitation process. This Article provides a brief history of plea bargaining, followed by rebuttals to the arguments against the practice, and finally positive arguments in support of plea bargaining.
Keywords: Plea bargaining, Alford plea, Criminal justice reform, mass incarceration, False pleas, Bordenkircher v. Hayes Alaska, Trial penalty,
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