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Plea Bargaining in the United States v. Ruiz Case


Plea bargaining is a form of agreement in a criminal case; the prosecutor usually gives the defendant a chance to plead guilty since there are possibilities that if the defendant claims guilty to the crime, he may be granted a less charge than a maximum sentence (Kelly, 2004).

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The immigration department had found marijuana drugs on the luggage of Ruiz. Just before trial, the prosecutors offered Ms Ruiz a “fast track plea bargain” which would offer her a reduced sentence as per the particular crime (, 2011). However Ruiz did not agree to this offer and the prosecutor had no alternative but to withdraw the offer and Ruiz was charged for illegal possession of drugs (, 2011).

Although Ruiz did not agree to the agreement, when the case was forwarded for trial at the Supreme Court, Ruiz pleaded guilty of the crime but during time of sentencing she asked the court to grant her the same reduced sentence she would have got if she had agreed the plea accord that was offered before. However, the judge rejected this request and the district court also denied it (, 2011).

. On the other hand, the ninth circuit made some consideration by ruling that, the any defendant is entitled to get informed about the plea bargaining process from the prosecutor which in this case, Ms Ruiz had not been given detailed information regarding this topic which happens to be a constitutional right (, 2011).

My opinion regarding this particular case is that, the first ruling was fair based on the fact that Ruiz had rejected the prosecutors offer of plea bargain, however, since the suspect is entitled to detailed information concerning this topic, the ruling on the other hand is not justified because Ms Ruiz was not given enough information in order to make an informed decision.

Pros and cons of plea bargain process

The plea bargain allows a suspect to plead guilt of crime he may not have or may not have committed and this reduces the chances of a serious sentence; to both sides there are several advantage and disadvantages as well. Foremost, the plea bargain process offers the victim a conviction and this means that the defense attorney has the advantage by the fact that he will avoid all the expenses that may be occurred in the trial process (Kelly, 2004).

Secondly, the suspect is granted a less sentence and his charges are reduced although he does not get a chance to prove his innocence in the court (Kelly, 2004). Additionally, the prosecutors usually have a very tight schedule and this means that, they also do not have enough time to prosecute the accused in a court trial. However, through the plea bargain process, the prosecutor benefits in that, the plea bargaining process delivers a conviction and hence the burden of a trial process is foregone (Kelly, 2004).

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In contrast to the advantages, the process is inconvenient in that, the court can not fully administer justice since a suspect is convicted for a crime he may not have committed in the first place and he is neither given a chance to present his facts and prove his innocence as well (Kelly, 2004).


To support the argument, one of the cases found in the GCU elibrary clearly portrays a plea bargaining case in which Mr.Owen Wifred who was charged for two different case had his charges reduced and was not convicted for other numerous offences he had committed after agreeing to the plea bargain as offered by the prosecutor (, 2011).

Reference (2011).Wilfred Owen rape cases. Web. 

Kelly, D (2004). Plea Bargain Pros and Cons. Web. (2011). UNITED STATES v. RUIZ – 536 U.S. 622(2002). Web. 

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