Support for formal plea bargaining
Wednesday 08 July 1992
Speaking at a press conference to launch the Crown Prosecution Service annual report, she said it was important to avoid putting pressure on innocent defendants to plead guilty.
However, she urged the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice to consider a system whereby judges would offer lower sentences in return for guilty pleas.
Last month, the Bar Council called for formal plea bargaining to be introduced. An informal system already exists, lawyers say, but judges are not allowed to state what discounts can be expected.
Mrs Mills also said ministers should bring in legislation on the disclosure of prosecution evidence to the defence. Her remarks follow Judith Ward's appeal hearing, when the Court of Appeal was highly critical of the prosecution's failure to tell the defence of important evidence at her 1974 trial.
The report showed that three out of four acquittals at crown courts were by jury verdicts, while the rest were on the direction of the judge. Defendants had a 50 per cent chance of acquittal if they pleaded not guilty, Mrs Mills said. The conviction rate in crown courts was 91 per cent and in magistrates' courts 97 per cent, with most of the 1.5 million people prosecuted last year pleading guilty.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
California teacher appears to have hanged herself in her classroom
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a critical role within the secur...
£20000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is an established, ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Exciting new position available at an independ...