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.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...