Tue, Mar. 19, 2013

Plea Bargain Statute Constitutional

TAS - Washington.   The federal constitutional court in Germany, Bundesverfassungsgericht, in Karlsruhe had to decide whether §257c of the Code of Criminal Procedure regulating plea agreements since 2009, would violate constitutional due process as well as the presumption of innocence and other principles.

In its March 19, 2013 decision, docket number BvR 2628/10, the court blessed §257c. Although the application of the statute by courts lacks constitutional guidance, the law itself is constitutional, because it preserves the constitutional rights to an acceptable extent.

All informal plea bargains which do not strictly follow this provision, however, are unconstitutional. In the three cases examined by the court, it identified violations of plea bargaining procedures, such as the right to a fair trial, and reversed the judgments.


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