Today there is some activity by prosecutors to allow criminals to use plea bargaining. While this activity may not be illegal, I feel it focuses the attention on the criminal and not the victim(s). While any criminal (s) in our court system deserves to have their rights protected, the rights of the victims should be the focus in having proper punishment inflicted upon those who made them a victim. All persons deserve a fair trial as is the requirement in our laws. This right has no connection and should not have any connection with the process of plea bargaining. There may be cases where plea bargaining may be justified. Sometimes the victims plead for the criminals or there are extenuating circumstances where a plea bargain may be justified.
Criminals should not be given an out that would reduce their punishment for the crimes they have committed. As I stated above there may be exceptions. Sometimes a plea bargain may be used to offset a long and costly court case that may drag on for months. This in my opinion should not be a condition for plea bargaining. The public deserve to have criminal cases prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The integrity of the process and/or of the prosecutor may come into question when plea bargaining is used. This has been questioned in the news in some cases.
The process of plea bargaining for prosecutors should have criteria established, if not now in place. If it is in place it should be reviewed and updated to reflect the nature of the crime. The criteria should identify when it would be permissible to allow a plea bargain. Establishing a set of criteria may help to take away some of the confusion that prosecutors may have in deciding to allow or reject a plea bargain. While there are some that I feel make good decisions when using the plea bargaining option, there are others that use poor judgment. The criteria should be limited to specific conditions.
It must be remembered that we are a nation of laws and when those laws are broken there are defined penalties for breaking them. Laws are established by our local, state and national governmental entities. These laws and their penalties should not be circumvented by the use of plea bargaining. As I stated above there may be cases where a plea bargain is justified, however these should be the exception rather than the rule. Prosecutors should have some options in the prosecution of their assigned cases. However, we must help them make good decisions by establishing criteria for the use of the plea bargain process. The victim (s) not the criminals should be the focus. If we are to have good prosecutions of criminals with justified penalties inflicted, we must have criteria for the use of plea bargaining. The criminals being prosecuted did not show respect for their victims. Let’s give some respect back to the victims by imposing proper punishment for the crimes in association with those set forth in the laws that are violated.