Judicial Workshop on Plea Negotiations / Agreements
This two-day training program for trial and appellate judges was designed to enhance the attendees’ knowledge of the plea agreements and role of the judges in ensuring that justice is administered while balancing fairness and transparency in the interest of the citizens of Jamaica.
Plea agreements are common place in state and federal courts in the United States. Over 90% of cases are resolved through plea agreements promoting timely and effective dispositions of cases in the interest of judicial economy and the administration of justice. The “Judicial Workshop on Plea/Negotiations Agreements” will present model rules on the acceptance of plea agreements from three jurisdictions. Through roleplay, the workshop will also examine the role of judges in plea agreements and negotiations. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for attendees to gain practical experience in applying best sentencing approaches in potential guilty pleas though the use of Sentence Indications conferences.
This inter-active, peer-to-peer program was designed to help judges establish guidelines providing a unique opportunity for attendees to be engaged in developing rules and policies tailored to Jamaica. Finally, this workshop also emphasized fundamental Case Management principles and approaches to early disposition, examining the critical importance of preventing delays and reducing case backlog. To achieve program goals, the six-judge faculty of distinguished and experienced trial court jurists utilized reading materials, plenary lectures, small working groups, and practical training exercises. At the conclusion of the program, attendees should be able to return to their judicial assignments with enhanced skills for accepting plea agreements and guilty pleas resulting in the disposing of cases in a prompt and timely manner improving access to justice and public trust in the judiciary.