In the courtroom and during plea negotiations, the impact of stricter laws is exerted through what some academics call the “trial penalty.” The phrase refers to the fact that the sentences for people who go to trial have grown harsher relative to sentences for those who agree to a plea.
In some jurisdictions, some legal experts say the gap has widened so much it has become coercive and is used to punish defendants for exercising their right to trial.
Conversely, prosecutors say they are giving defendants options and are merely charging them based on what is allowed under the law for those who turn down pleas.
Search the Internet for a high-profile criminal case that has been plea bargained.
- Explain whether or not you believe justice has been served.
- Did the defendant get off easy by receiving a lesser sentence or was the plea used coercively?
- What factors should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to take a case to trial?
500 WORDS OR MORE