plea bargaining

plea bar·​gain·​ing | \ ˈplē-ˌbär-gə-niŋ How to pronounce plea bargaining (audio) \

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

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Other Words from plea bargaining

plea-bargain \ ˈplē-​ˌbär-​gən How to pronounce plea-bargain (audio) \ intransitive verb
plea bargain noun

Examples of plea bargaining in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Many guilty pleas are the result of plea bargaining. Angela Roberts, Lindsay Huth, Alex Mann, Washington Post, "Plea deals punish the innocent in Baltimore police scandal," 9 June 2018 The crackdown has been enabled by better-trained and more independent prosecutors, as well as legal changes like the use of plea bargaining, former U.S. and Latin American officials say. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Argentine Police Raid Homes of Ex-President Cristina Kirchner in Graft Probe," 23 Aug. 2018 The law does not provide for what the American law provides, plea bargaining and all that. Tom Wright, WSJ, "Jho Low, Alleged Ringleader in 1MDB Scandal, Sought Deal With Malaysia but Was Rejected," 14 June 2018 Stamina Founder Davide Vannoni was convicted of criminal conspiracy after plea bargaining in 2015 and is now under investigation again. Luca Tancredi Barone, Science | AAAS, "Italy’s new prime minister defended discredited stem cell therapy," 24 May 2018 Criminal trials have also fallen off, due to plea bargaining and the great expense of going to court. Edward D. Mccarthy,, "The case of the vanishing trial lawyer, and why it matters to all of us," 8 May 2018 That would allow the special counsel’s team to pressure them into plea bargaining negotiations in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence. Matt Ford, New Republic, "Mueller just put more pressure on two former Trump campaign officials.," 22 Feb. 2018 But Mexico has no formal version of plea bargaining, and no phrase to really describe it. Washington Post, "Mexican front-runner sets cabinet ahead of presidential vote," 14 Dec. 2017 Wisconsin also has a plea bargaining process that is not guided by mandatory maximums or minimums, which means the sentences and punishment are almost always left up to the discretion of prosecutors and judges. Michael Harriot, The Root, "We Told Y'all: New Study Reveals How Every Phase Of Criminal Justice System Favors Whites," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plea bargaining.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plea bargaining

1932, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near plea bargaining




plea bargaining



plead ignorance

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Time Traveler for plea bargaining

The first known use of plea bargaining was in 1932

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More Definitions for plea bargaining

plea bargaining


English Language Learners Definition of plea bargaining

: 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

plea bargaining


Legal Definition of plea bargaining

: the negotiation of an agreement between the prosecution and the defense whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense or to one or some of multiple offenses usually in exchange for more lenient sentencing recommendations, a specific sentence, or dismissal of other charges

Other Words from plea bargaining

plea-bargain intransitive verb
plea bargain noun

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