Penn State International Law Review

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For a number of reasons plea bargaining has become a very important part of United States criminal procedure. One of the most important reasons is economics; it would be prohibitively expensive to hold a full-scale trial for all those charged with a crime.2 Plea bargaining works because many defendants are willing to forego a criminal trial in exchange for a lesser sentence, and prosecutors are willing to offer a lesser sentence in order to secure a guilty plea while not expending as much time and effort as a trial would require.