Jury vs: Plea Bargain

The benefits of a Trial by jury are:

That it protects citizens against vindictive law enforcement, prevents governmental totalitarianism and it shields the citizens from reckless and the nefarious prosecuting attorneys and eccentric and prejudicial judges. It\'s purpose is to discover the truth of whether the defendant is guilty or not of the charges of to which they are accused.

The burden of proof that is to convince the jury is on the side of the prosecutor.

It is his job to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant is guilty. The defense attorney\'s job is to create doubt in the mind of the jury. It is up to the jury to decide then the guilt or innocent of the defendant.

The benefits of a plea bargain are:

The prosecutors have a wide discretion as to the charges that the bring and therefore tend to charge the defendant to the full extent of that is applicable in the situation at hand.

The defendant then is left to choose between the certainty of a much less serious charge, or the uncertainty of a trial in which the defendant may or may not be found guilty of a much

more serious charge

In other cases a defendant may have culpability with others in a criminal matter and at the same time knowledge of which ensure of a more broader or significant conviction. In such a case, in order to secure the defendant\'s willingness to testify for the prosecution in other cases. It may become necessary to offer him a "sweetheart deal" of lesser charges in exchange for said testimony.

In other cases the prosecutors may convinced that they have the right defendant and completely accurate charge as to the crime or crimes committed and yet, the evidence may be questionable or lacking thereof to secure a conviction if it were to be brought to trial. So it is a benefit for both parties to arrange a resolution to the matter without either side taking the chance losing once the case is submitted to a jury or judge.

It has been argued that the American criminal justice system would simply cease to function without plea bargaining, and that it forms a framework wherein the accused and his accusers can reach an agreement in which the case is settled once and for all. In what is considered a spirit of fairness.

Critics of the system point out that the plea bargain system puts a strong pressure on the defendants to plead to crimes that they did not commit, and that the outcome of a plea bargain may depend on the negotiating skills and the personal demeanor of the defense lawyer, which puts persons that can afford good lawyers at an advantage. Furthermore, the system encourages prosecutors to over charge at the start of a case which leads to a caseload pressures. Finally, many jurist, especially in civil law nations, find the notion of plea bargaining contrary to purpose of the law in which a specific action should be associated with a specific penalty.

Jury Pools

Currently, most jurisdictions select their juries from the voter registration rolls, but since (1) 30-60% of eligible voters do not register, many potential jurors are excluded from consideration.

To expand this list of possible jurors, consideration should be to the use of lists of licensed drivers, utility users and telephone directories. In addition, lists of public records could be included. To make jury lists more accurate, all possible jurors should be crossed referenced with felons, warrants and deaths.

Due to the studies showing the poor and young are the least likely to vote, raising the compensation jurors receive may help. Currently in Allegheny County Pennsylvania the amount paid for an eight hour day at minimum wage is $41.20. If this fee were adjusted for inflation, the compensation would be approximately $53.00 for the same day. If employers were encouraged in paying for the time they were serving on a jury, this may also help.

Although employers are not to be going to be ordered to pay, offering a tax break may increase their incentive co-operate and encourage more citizens to want to serve on a jury.

Another suggestion to encourage more citizen co-operation is the possibility is of on-site day care