There are several ways to plead during a trial. These pleas can also form part of a bargain to keep you from having to go to trial. Many experts in the Indiana legal field believe that jury trials may actually be on their way out. If this is the case, it may lead to a great many unexplored issues with plea bargains.
Fewer jury trials make for more plea bargains
You don’t always have to plan for a jury trial to be an integral part of your ongoing criminal defense strategy. The way things seem to be going, the standard process of trial by jury may soon be largely obsolete because of more plea bargains.
However, this is a change that comes with a serious caveat. If you are convicted after agreeing to take a plea, the result may be much harder to modify. Further, if you should be wrongfully convicted, it may take years or decades to even get a new trial. It can take even longer, or never, to get a conviction overturned.
Many leading experts believe that the increasing number of plea bargains is no cause for concern. They point to the general opinion that the majority of people who plead guilty truly are so. However, it is also true that plea bargains can also be key to many wrongful convictions.
Plea bargains can slow the process of exoneration
There are many cases in which taking a seemingly convenient plea deal may actually be the wrong thing to do. A great number of cases have recently come to light where wrongful convictions have taken decades to be overturned.
Many defendants whom the public believes innocent are still fighting to get out of prison. At the moment, over 20% of all wrongful convictions noted by the National Registry of Exonerations came after guilty pleas that were later overturned. This is a topic that remains a source of controversy.