Classmate A post:
The debate around plea bargaining is similar to the broader debate around due process and crime control, in terms of the factors encompassed under the proper utilization of power. Factors such as efficiency, purpose, belief, intent, ideology, and/or work are included in discerning the application of power. These factors can lead to compromises or abuses that can affect the lives of many people. Similarly, plea bargaining lies on the decision of legal agents, who take into account these factors. For instance, the motivation of a public defender to process things more quickly may influence him/her to use plea bargaining. As a result, debate in plea bargaining arises from various perspectives on how power must be utilized the right way. These arguments stem from those affected by the justice system, observers of the system, and/or people under the system, who came to recognize such factors that impact legal agents, which can be argued to be just/unjust—a debate similar to that of due process and crime control. The debate from due process and crime control is also apparent from individuals who base their arguments on the actions of legal agents following a certain model. For instance, although due process and crime control are seen as models for keeping peace and order, there are underlying agendas in the process for achieving that purpose, such as disrupting freedom, interfering with one’s rights, etc.—a source of argument whether this should be proper or not. Although both debates take into account how unlawful processes can be, differences rest on what the veiled interests are. For plea bargaining, the motivations can be certain benefits, flexibility, efficiency, financial interests, time, and/or conservation of judicial resources. For due process/crime control, the intents can be presumption of guilt, presumption of innocence, finality, efficiency, speed, etc. Therefore, concerns will be debated differently.
I believe that plea bargaining should be regulated, not necessarily banned. I agree with the “predetermined charging concession” Guidorizzi discusses to lessen negotiations in order to even out treatment of defendants and give more logical sentencing patterns. By lessening negotiations, I think this is also beneficial for innocent defendants to avoid submitting to pressures.
Classmate B post：
The crime control model focuses on an assembly line justice system with an informal fact-finding process and the necessity for speed. It emphasizes guilt and protecting society from crime. On the other hand, the due process model is a more slow and deliberate system that follows proper procedure. It emphasizes innocence as well as the importance of the individual and their rights. The debate around plea bargaining is similar to the broader debate on due process and crime control models. Both plea bargaining and the crime control model are based on the principal ideals of efficiency, quick fact-finding, and the presumption of guilt. Furthermore, both plea bargaining and the crime control models are more committed to swiftness and efficiency than fairness found in the due process model. Plea bargaining and the crime control model also place tremendous power in the hands of the criminal justice system. For plea bargaining, defendants are at the mercy of the prosecutor. Similarly, in the crime control model, citizens are at the mercy of law enforcement. Lastly, plea bargaining and the crime control model are largely dispositional systems that are mainly bureaucratic in nature. This contrasts with the due process model, an adversarial system based on constitutional ideology.
The debate around plea bargaining and the crime control versus due process debate is different in ideology. In the crime control model, the rhetoric of law and order is most important, while the due process model stresses the importance of the individual and individual rights. However, the debate around plea bargaining does not place importance on either of these ideas. Plea bargaining often comes with lighter sentences and reduced charges and can be coercive while sometimes encouraging people to waive their rights. Furthermore, the crime control versus due process model debate is clearly split between conservatives and liberals. Crime control is primarily a conservative approach to crime, whereas the due process model is a more liberal approach. However, within the discussion of plea bargaining, there are opponents on both ideological sides. Conservatives oppose plea bargaining because they believe it allows criminals to get away with lesser sentences. Liberals also oppose plea bargaining, but for different reasons. They think it will enable the innocent to be forced to plead guilty for crimes they did not commit.
I believe plea bargaining should be banned. The criminal justice system should be more efficient and swifter to avoid delays. In addition, plea bargaining allows the justice system to focus on more severe cases. However, I strongly oppose the fact that plea bargaining sacrifices justice principles, which underlie our notion of a trial by jury. I do not believe it serves the purposes outlined by the crime control (law and order) or the due process model (individual rights). Moreover, plea bargaining does not appear to be an effective crime deterrent. On the contrary, it can result in more lenient sentences. But, most importantly, I am against it because it undermines the right to a trial by jury, asks that defendants waive certain constitutional rights, and places a defendant at risk of being punished for a crime they may not have committed.
Classmate C post；
The debate around due process or crime control presented a moral dilemma; the American justice system claims to function through due process according to our constitution, yet crime control is utilized (which sometimes interferes with proper due process). Crime control is geared towards ‘fighting crime’ faster and more efficiently, but this often crosses moral boundaries. A similar dilemma exists with plea bargaining. Plea bargaining, like crime control, aims at dealing with the crime faster and more efficiently, however, plea bargaining has the ability to also cross moral boundaries; this includes the possibility of coercion, creating a ‘short-cut’ around the court guilt standards, and keeping individuals from proper jury by trial (sometimes also allowing for lesser sentences served). Drawing parallels to crime control, which often avoids due process, plea bargaining avoids subjecting criminals to a traditional trial based on a deal (that could be coerced), leaving the chance for innocent people to end up with sentences. The difference between crime control vs. due process and plea bargaining vs. jury trial is that the first pertains to preventing or determining if an individual has committed a crime, and the second involves how the crime charge is settled.
Although plea bargaining allows benefits such as better resource allocation, victim closure, and short sentences (that are perceived as deserved), the moral implications outweigh the benefits, in my opinion. As harmless and beneficial we want to believe plea bargaining is, like many other things, it has its corrupt features. Our justice system prides itself on ‘serving justice’ through due process, and plea bargaining provides a loophole within the system. It was mentioned that a complete ban has not proven to be very sustainable, but possibly arranging more restrictions on plea bargaining could function in a healthier way; one example is the post-indictment ban. I do not think plea bargaining should operate in the way it does, but I do not see it being banned until a better alternative presents itself.