n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Negotiated pleas : policy and purposes
|Article Title||Negotiated pleas : policy and purposes|
|© Publisher:||Juta Law Publishing|
|Journal||South African Journal of Criminal Justice|
|Author||Mervin E. Bennun|
|Publication Date||Jan 2007|
|Pages||17 - 45|
Plea bargaining as it was before the Bill of Rights was unsatisfactory for it served to de-legitimise criminal justice in South Africa. The enactment of s 105A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 to codify and regulate the process of negotiating agreements on pleas and sentences was necessary, but there is a serious lack of clarity about what it should be used for and how it should be used because it alters greatly the entire nature of a criminal trial by by-passing the judge or magistrate. Some of the jurisprudential issues are considered.
'Plea bargaining, although a dreadful practice, is thoroughly entrenched, and any reform that would make this practice better (or less awful) is to be cheered...' .
'In many courts, the guilty-plea process looks more like the purchase of a rug in a Lebanese bazaar than the confrontation between a man and his soul'.
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