1. Discuss some of the reasons why a prosecutor would offer a defendant a plea agreement. Discuss your thoughts on plea bargaining. Discuss the constitutional requirements of entering a guilty plea.

A plea bargain is considered an agreement involving the prosecutor and defense developing a settlement in exchange for either a reduced charge, a specific payout amount, limiting specific evidence, or reduced sentence length (Rauxloh, 2012). This is in place of going through an entire trial, the plea bargain agreement prevents uncertain outcomes of a trial by ensuring there is a conviction (Rauxloh, 2012).  The criminal justice system attempts to protect individuals by guaranteeing a fair trial with the plea bargain the judicial processes is shortening the processes of cases that can be closed expediently (Rauxloh, 2012). Plea bargaining originated from Anglo-American courtrooms and was then adopted into the United States courtrooms (Rauxloh, 2012). My thoughts on plea bargaining are that this process is a valuable option for the courts and allows for less costly trials. The downside to this is the defendant may receive less severe consequences that may appear unfair. Constitutional requirements of entering a guilty plea agreement requires the court to accept a valid plea with jurisdiction, enter into a guilty plea voluntarily, and the defendant must be in a sound mind and understand the plea to enter into a guilty plea (Rauxloh, 2012).

  1. What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The bench trial usually takes less time than a jury trial because there is just the judge that must determine if the defendant is guilty versus six to twelve individuals on a jury (King, Soulé, Steen, & Weidner, 2005)

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