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 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Paul Hollywood: Police asked if I wanted them to arrest Mary Berry for vandalism after she 'defaced' my car
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Tower of London poppies: Tens of thousands of people flock to see installation in its final days
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...