plea bargaining

plea bar·gain·ing

noun \-ˌbär-gə-niŋ\

: a process in which a person who is accused of a crime is allowed to say that he or she is guilty of a less serious crime in order to be given a less severe punishment

Full Definition of PLEA BARGAINING

:  the negotiation of an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant is permitted to plead guilty to a reduced charge
plea–bargain intransitive verb
plea bargain noun


  1. As a result of plea bargaining, he would not be sentenced to death.

First Known Use of PLEA BARGAINING


plea bargaining

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Negotiation of an agreement between the prosecution and the defense whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense or (in the case of multiple offenses) to one or more of the offenses charged, in exchange for more lenient sentencing, recommendations, a specific sentence, or a dismissal of other charges. Supporters claim plea bargaining speeds court proceedings and guarantees a conviction; opponents believe it prevents justice from being served.


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