The Importance of the Plea Bargain

A plea bargain is a negotiation or agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor for a lesser punishment than stated in the law by pleading guilty for a particular offence. The importance of plea bargain is that it helps the courts preserve limited resources for serious cases that need them most. The prosecutor can shun trails, which tend to be time-consuming, resource-intensive and costly. Without plea bargains, the justice systems would be bogged down due to constrained resources and defendants would wait for months or even years for trials, undermining the right to a speedy trial as enshrined in the constitution.

When the concept of plea bargains was introduced in the justice systems, it was done for a good course. The plea bargains, for instance, were offered to sentenced murders who would provide further information for other unsolved murder cases that they played the part. The defenders would then receive a life sentence as a form of punishment instead of the death penalty. This would give the families of the offenders to see their missing members and loved ones still. The criminalization of some drug use such as marijuana in some states naturally invited plea bargaining. The justice system could no longer handle the numerous less serious offences by subjecting offenders to trials due to inadequate time and resources. Instead of the trails, the parties sit down and negotiate for the charge and the applicable sentence, saving time and resources.

Therefore, plea bargains are fundamental to clear up cases as quickly as possible where crime rates are high. It allows criminals who are sometimes one-time lawbreakers to plea down a lesser sentence. The courts also meet the constitutional right to the speedy trial and save the limited court resources.


Does Plea Bargaining Undermine the Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from

Due Process – Let’s Make a Deal: The Plea Bargain (Aired 12/9/12) [Video File]. Retrieved from