Trial And Plea Bargain Essay

942 words - 4 pages

Trial and Plea Bargain

The criminal justice system today has attributed to it a notion of it being a system “…of pleas, not a system of trials,” (Franze, A., Jeremy, M., 2012). This fact of the pervasiveness of plea bargaining in the legal system is commonly known, and subsequently one of the shared opinions of five of the four justices that ruled on the companion cases: Lafler v. Cooper, and Missouri v. Frye. To even further illustrate this point, “In the state courts in large cities in 2006, 95 percent of all convictions for felony defendants came through guilty pleas rather than trials; in federal courts in 2010, the proportion was 97 percent.” (Baum, 2013). These statistics should ...view middle of the document...

Similar to the situation with Lafler v. Cooper; Missouri v. Frye was a cases that involved a claim of inadequate counsel due to the fact that the defendants attorney failed to mention to the defendant that the prosecution had offered plea-bargains until the offers had expired. The majority of the justices in these two landmark cases surmised that due to the prevalence of plea-bargaining in today’s legal system, the protection of the sixth amendment needs to extend to other parts of the criminal justice process, and specifically plea-bargaining.
Several justices had dissenting opinions that criticized the majorities view on the cases, claiming that they were breaking years of tradition, and that the precedent these cases set will be seen in great numbers in the courts (Liptak, 2012). Justice Alito offered a dissenting opinion in which he criticized the courts analysis of the case due to the remedy that was recommended for defective legal representation by the court, feeling as though the remedy was “opaque” (Franze, A., Jeremy, M., 2012). The remedy for the incompetent legal advice recommended by the court was to have the case brought back before the court in order for the prosecution to re-offer the plea-bargain to the defendant. There are several criteria that need to be met to even claim that the defendant did not have adequate legal representation at the plea-bargain. The idea that a contention in creating a precedent for adequate legal representation at a plea-bargaining using the logic of it “breaking from tradition” seems rather inappropriate. With changes in how cases are handled, and the significant importance that plea-bargaining has in the criminal justice system, requiring adequate legal representation seems prudent in order to ensure that proper justice is served.
With these two companion cases decided, what has become clear is that there is an...

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