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 bargaining (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 Making sweeping changes to plea bargaining, downgrading the emphasis on forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony, and reducing prosecutorial discretion have little traction among law enforcement groups and political leaders. Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2021 Perhaps nothing contributes more to mass incarceration than plea bargaining. Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2021 The case could resovle in a lesser charge through plea bargaining. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Aug. 2020 If a judge decides Stone’s complaint can go forward, the case could serve to shape the court system’s evolving view of plea bargaining. Kim Bellware, Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2020 That's the whole problem with plea bargaining [charges] down. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 1 Oct. 2019 To other legal observers, the round of charges is a routine part of plea bargaining that is drawing attention because of the high-profile nature of a scandal that has drawn nationwide attention., 26 Oct. 2019 Although many of its critics are self-interested, others worry about the prosecutors’ use of preventive detention and plea bargaining. The Economist, 15 June 2019 Many guilty pleas are the result of plea bargaining. Angela Roberts, Lindsay Huth, Alex Mann, Washington Post, 9 June 2018

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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The first known use of plea bargaining was in 1932

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Cite this Entry

“Plea bargaining.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on plea bargaining Encyclopedia article about plea bargaining


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