Comparative Justice Systems

Instruction & Requirements:
Is Plea Bargaining a Bargain?

1. In our readings on Law this week we see that other nations approach the law much differently than the United States. Many other nations, Japan for instance, do not allow and make illegal the process we know of called plea bargaining. It is estimated that in the United States about 90-95 % of all adjudicated cases are settled through plea bargaining. Argue one of the following stands in 150 words.

Plea bargaining is wrong and should be done away with. Why is it wrong? Is justice not served through the process? What will happen to the case load in courts if all cases had to go to trial?

Plea bargaining is right and proper and should be continued. Why is it right? How is justice served with plea bargaining with convicted persons serving much less time that the original crime they committed calls for?

Plea bargaining can be used, but it is used too much. I believe the following changes need to be made in the process.

Our Punishment Philosophy

2. We know from our studies that the five goals for contemporary sentencing are: 1) retribution; 2) incapacitation; 3) deterrence; 4) rehabilitation; and 5) restoration. In several of the countries we have studied this week under the Corrections heading, we see a combination of intent in the sentencing philosophy. Some of the combinations, for instance, include retribution and rehabilitation, incapacitation and rehabilitation, or deterrence and rehabilitation. If you will recall from your CCJ 3200 Introduction to Corrections course the United States has used each of them at one time or another in a cyclical fashion, and often uses all at the same time. For purposes of discussion, argue one of the following points in 150 words.

A] The sentencing philosophy of [one of the countries we studied] is a better one than attempting to utilize all of them. Explain your reasoning and the results you would expect.

B] People are different and have different motivations to commit crime. We need to use all of the various sentencing philosophies. Explain your reasoning and the results you would expect.

C] We are trying to be all things to all people and should concentrate on one sentencing philosophy, that of [insert your choice.] What would this accomplish that the use of multiple philosophies does not? Why?

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