Often times courts are overrun and overworked because of criminal cases. Without plea bargaining, the problem only exacerbates. Plea bargaining allows for the courts to reduce people's sentencing if they don't go through the court process. This can potentially save courts millions, perhaps even billions of dollars and lots of time.
90 to 95 percent of cases result in plea bargaining, who knows how many of those people were innocent? People take a plea because they are afraid of a worse sentence, and giving a plea bargain is easier on the court, but it obstructs justus by both giving a less than warranted punishment to the guilty and causing the innocent to land in prison.
In a way it punishes you from exercising your right to a fair trial. It tells you that you're better off confessing regardless of if you're guilty or not, which is a problem since we're trying to catch CRIMINALS. As in, the ones that did the crime.
The main thing the justice system should be focused on is catching guilty people, not money.
Maybe if we set up our justice system in a way that was more effective (like some other people had suggested) then we wouldn't have to worry about the overworked and overrun justice system.
Even better, fix the prison system!
Everyone knows for a fact that a lot of these criminals end up back in prison, and if we actually worked to prevent that we would be better off. Focus on reform. Teach life skills, show them that they are redeemable, and help them feel motivated to work towards bettering themselves. (Also legalize marijuana in every state.)
THAT would save courts millions.
Plea bargaining is not moral, at least not the way it is handled now. The justice system should have as its goal to get the right person convicted, not just to get someone convicted. The perpetrator needs to be removed from society (or fined as the case may be) not just any old person. Currently if someone confesses that's the end of the story. Especially with plea bargaining the justice system should consider that sometimes people falsely plea guilty, and a public defender should still be in charge of defending them even if they claim to be guilty. If someone then goes to court and lies under oath about being guilty they should be liable to be convicted for perjury. Maybe in some cases where the evidence is clear enough the confession should be accepted and a full trial avoided, but there should at least be some rules and procedures in place to identify "suspicious confessions" and then proceed with the trial regardless.
The bottomline is that sometimes people who say they are guilty are not guilty. I don't feel sorry for them unless it's a person who is mentally ill but society benefits by knowing the truth and delivering justice to the right people, so it is bad to just automatically close every case upon a confession.
Japan may be a good example of a system that gets it right, although it isn't perfect. Plea bargaining is illegal, although there are still problems with prosecutors secretly making deals with defendants. But there is another safeguard. Confessions are required to contain elements that only the guilty would have known. There is some evidence that this system has problems and innocent people still end up in prison and cases end up closed prematurely through false confession, but at least Japan has somewhat of a system to reduce that problem.
Plea bargains are too lenient; a majority of felony cases are resolved by plea bargains and that means someone who committed a serious offense is given a lesser punishment than they deserve. And plea bargains land innocent people in prison rather than having their day in court and proving their innocence.