Plea Bargaining, Otherwise Known As: Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

" This means that, "It is an indictment of the criminal justice system, not plea bargaining itself" (Sandefur, 2003, p. 31). The Constitution incorporated the right to a trial into the process, and it does not necessarily entail that: the defendant needs to know his rights in waiving them or hiring a legal counsel to help. Sandefur finally stated that, "Plea bargaining is not perfect, but its problems are procedures and not constitutional" (Sandefur, 2003, p. 31). This is important, because it is highlighting the different views on how the plea bargaining process works.


In order to make significant changes in the process of plea agreements, Fisher (2007) suggests in his article The Boundaries of Plea Bargaining: Negotiating the Standard of Proof that we need to reconstruct these procedures. This is based on: the arguments presented by legal scholars and the current condition of plea bargaining in the United States criminal justice system. At which point, we will examine how these procedures can be modified

This proposal aims to acquire proof for criminal convictions, entailing all the necessary documents. Based on these standards, the issue of plea bargaining can be addressed, and there will be options in determining how to solve this dilemma which includes: a full trial or a plea bargain itself. Moreover, the United States criminal justice system has been centered on self-incrimination by the defendant, since this became a part of sentencing decisions (Fisher, 2007, p. 947). The acquisition of proof will provide more ways of improving the effectiveness of the process in both: the prosecutor's and the defendant's cases.

The proposal does not entail self-incrimination by the defendant, and it will develop / create possibilities for all of the parties involved in a trial. This is accomplished through the evidence presented, which gives the defendant more control of how to address his case. As a result, this is showing how the process can be augmented to tackle the concerns of critics

Through this, the defendant can exchange information with the prosecutors for lesser charges, most notably when he waives his right to a trial. Furthermore, it will provide more advantages to the prosecution, since it will not only delineate the processes involved with the trial. But, it will also lessen the reduction and possible errors that could be committed when handing these cases. This is a defining the turning point of the parties involved, specifically witnesses for the prosecution. Wherein, it sets aside the outlays of the investigation, in: determining a plea or acquiring a guilty verdict from the defendants.

If this methodology will be applied to the plea bargaining process, the advantages will eventually show in: the pursuits of the defense and to the prosecution in how plea agreements are determined. The defendant will be more inclined to lessen the costs of the trial in a personal context, as well as considering: the prison sentence, financial difficulties, and other factors. However, the role that the prosecutor plays in the plea bargaining process, when standard proof for criminal convictions are acquired, is likely to take full advantage of the cost per offense.

As a result, the procedure will play a significant role in sentencing decisions or in the criminal justice in general. This will take place when an evidentiary waiver for a guilty plea becomes more considerable in terms of: the punishment and prosecution for the defendant. On the other hand, the main disparity between: the goals of acquiring proof for criminal convictions and the conventional ways used in handling cases is a process of negotiation between the two different sides. This is more significant compared with the defendant's only option of pleading guilty, when asked about how he wants to address the case surrounding his defense.

In analyzing the general acceptability and validity of the standard proof of conviction, all parties can determine the divergence involved with these kinds of cases in terms of: autonomy, efficiency and distributive justice. The arguments that are currently presented against the plea bargaining process can also be taken into consideration on how it should be modified. As a result, this entails the use of constitutional rights as a key in considering something that is a contradiction to the interests of all parties.

However, in the proposed...
...This will enable the court to effectively perform its role in the society. If standards of proofs or convictions are utilized, there could be initial difficulties in its execution upon criminal procedures. Moreover, it will require larger amounts of time before it effectively playing a significant role in the judicial processes. This is because the standard of proof does not essentially determine the spirit of sentencing guidelines, or any other judicial decision for that matter.

In addition, there is a need to augment the number of individuals who are knowledgeable and exposed to criminal convictions (based upon a lack of or questionable evidence in the case). The innocent defendant will eventually be able to protect himself against: a more critical sentences or judicial decisions. This is because the court examines the merits / demerits of the case and the witnesses' claims to determine how it should proceed.


In 2007, Fisher stated that the plea bargaining process should be: given either less involvement in criminal procedures / sentencing decisions or it needs to be modified in a way that it will be constitutional. He further elaborated that "Wherever plea bargains are accepted, the evidence used in criminal procedures should be negotiable and vice versa. As, a rejection of: the proposition itself is only possible to use in the context of an absolute contradiction to the contractual arrangements in the criminal sphere" (Fisher, 2007, p. 1007). This significant, because it showing how this legal tactics is facing a wide variety of views about it constitutionality.

What all of this is highlighting is that there are varying opinions about: how plea bargains are utilized and the way that they are applied in the criminal justice system. This is important, because understanding these views will allow us to see how this is influencing the majority of criminal cases. At the same time, it will help us to understand how the system is evolving, based upon the use of this principal. As, prosecutors have been known to utilize this tool to varying degrees, in order to achieve their objectives. While many defendants are accepting these kinds of deals in order to: reduce the possibility of facing a long sentence or they do not have the desire to go through a lengthy trail. When you combine these different factors together, they are highlighting a variety of reason as to why plea bargains are continually being utilized.


To determine the subjects we will survey: prosecutors and defense attorneys about their views of plea bargaining on the criminal justice system. This will be accomplished through conducting probability sampling. This is when you are interviewing small sections of the population and are trying to gain a greater understanding of what is taking place. The approximate size of the sample will be total of 100 respondents. The design of the study will be an email survey that will be sent out to different prosecutors and defense attorneys. There are no ethical concerns of bias. There will be no subjects harmed during the process, which is in line with federal regulations known as the common rule. ("Probability Sampling," 2006) ("Survey Design," 2007) (Ackerman, 1992, pp. 1 -- 12)


There will be two different variables in the study. The prosecutors will serve as the dependent variable. As, they can provide specific insights about: the effects of plea bargaining on the criminal justice system. While, defense attorneys will serve as the independent variable. This is will provide everyone with more balanced view of how plea bargaining can affect dependents in a criminal case.

Data Collection Method

Like what was stated previously the method that we will be using is sampling. This is when we study: the opinions of select groups of people and use that information to make inferences about the overall trend.


The schedule will be conducted over two weeks. During the first week we will interview various prosecutors, while the second week will involve us sampling the views of defense attorneys.


The budget for conducting the survey will be $100.00. This is because we will be conducting the survey by email (which will keep the costs low). While at the same time, we will be analyzing the data ourselves. This will ensure that there are no added expenses for conducting this project.


Probability Sampling. (2006). Social Research. Retrieved from:

Survey Design. (2007). Survey System. Retrieved from:

Ackerman, T. (1992). A Review of Human Subjects. Ethics and Human Research, 14 (1), 1 -- 12.

Fisher, T. (2007). "The boundaries of plea bargaining: Negotiating the standard of proof." The Journal of Criminal Law &…

Sources Used in Documents:


Probability Sampling. (2006). Social Research. Retrieved from:

Survey Design. (2007). Survey System. Retrieved from:

Ackerman, T. (1992). A Review of Human Subjects. Ethics and Human Research, 14 (1), 1 -- 12.

Fisher, T. (2007). "The boundaries of plea bargaining: Negotiating the standard of proof." The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Summer, 947, 1007.

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