I feel that plea bargaining arrangements between defendants and prosecutors undermine justice because they involve ignorance of the interests of both victims and the defendants in a case in exchange for the career and performance interests of counsel.Plea bargaining concerns an agreement between prosecuting attorneys and defendants for the latter to plead guilty or avoid contesting criminal charges in exchange for waivers inoriginal charges. By offering concessions to defendants in exchange for guilty pleas, prosecutors violate fundamental principles of justice such as rights of defendants to counsels’ services and due process rights, while also denying opportunities to try available evidence in open courts, evaluate the totality of criminality in individual cases, and assess defendants’ culpability(Sungi, 2015).
This means that courts are unable to impose sentences that fit the severity of crimes, implying that victims are unable to obtain fair justice in termsof sentences that suit the severity of crimes and defendants’culpability in them (Sungi, 2015). Conversely, defendants do not benefit from the services of counsel in their cases, in effect violating the provision of the Sixth Amendment that accused individuals should benefit from Counsel’s assistance in cases (Sampson, 2010). Rather than adhering to due process requirements, both the defending and prosecuting counsel focus on achieving objectives that suit their interests in plea bargaining, including achieving high numbers of successful convictions for the prosecuting counsel and maintaining positive relations with the prosecution for the defending counsel.
Jeremiah 22: 3 symbolizes further the ill of plea bargaining arrangements. Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place(Holy Bible, English Standard Version). In contravention of these values, plea-bargaining violates the rights (oppresses) of both defendants (rights to counsel service) and victims of crime (rights to justice).
Holy Bible (ESV) (n.d.). Bible Gateway/Crossway Bibles
Sampson, P. J. (2010). Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Plea Bargain Negotiations. Brigham Young University Law Review 1: 251-266
Sungi, S. (2015). Is it Pragmatism or an Injustice to Victims? The Use of Plea Bargaining in the International Criminal Court. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology 7(2): 21-33.