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Plea bargaining is often referred to as a necessary evil.

Explain that statement in

regards to the modern criminal justice system. Is plea bargaining a necessity? Why
or why not? Use outside sources and examples. Response of 400 500 words with
examples. Ensure that the essay is written and cited in APA format. Ensure that you
utilize critical writing and critical thinking.

Plea bargain, as define by authors, John N. Ferdico, Henry F. Fradella and

Christopher D. Totten refer to the exchange of prosecutorial or judicial
concessions, or both, in return for a guilty plea (2013, p. 615). In general, plea
agreements are treated as contracts binding both the defendant and prosecutor to
the agreement. In this paper, one will first define the term "necessary evil",
then argue the point that plea bargain is a necessary evil.

Necessary evil, loosely defined, refers to "an unfavorable thing that must be done
or accepted, especially because the available alternative courses of action or
inaction would be worse" (English Wiktionary). If one may digress for a moment
and turn one's attention or shift one's perspective to the subject of criminal law,
necessary evil is closely linked with the concept of the "choice-of-evil defense"
sometime called by "general defense of necessity" which serves as a justification
for the choice of committing a lesser crime to avoid the harm of a greater crime
(Samaha, 2014, p. 180). The choice-of-evil provisions taken from the Model Penal
Code contains three elements laid out in three steps;

identify the evil

rank the evil
choose base on the reasonable belief that the greater evil is eminent, namely
it's going to happen right now.

(Samaha, 2014, p. 181).

Under section 3.02, the Model Penal Code states:

Conduct that the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or an evil to

himself or to another is justified, provided that:

the harm or evil sough to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that
sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged; and
neither the Code nor other law defining the offense provides exceptions or
defenses dealing with specific situation involved; and
a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claim does not otherwise
plainly appear

(Pollock, 2013, p. 98).

The most well known example of this is the case The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens.
Here, the case addresses the issue of three lone hungry survivors (Dudley,
Stephens, and Brooks) of a shipwreck, lost at sea on a lifeboat with very limited

The greater evil, in this case, is all three individual will die due to
The lesser evil, is to kill one individual, namely Brooks, to save the other
The later choice was made, Dudley and Stephens survived on the flesh of Brooks for
four day, was rescued....and now stands trial. (Samaha, 2014, p. 180)

Let us return from the digression we've made and address the issue of plea bargain
as a necessary evil. For the same reason as discussed above in regard to the
choice-of-evil defense, one argue that plea bargain serves the same purpose of
achieving the best outcome for both party of the contract, both the defendant and


English Wiktionary. (2010). Necessary Evil. Retrieved from

Ferdico, J. N., & Fradella, H. F., & Totten, C. D. (2013). Criminal Procedure: For
the Criminal Justice Professional. (11th ed.). Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Pollock, J. M. (2013). Criminal Law. (10th ed.). Elsevier, AP.

Samaha, J. (2014). Criminal Law. (11th ed.). Wadsworth.