From my understanding, plea bargaining is the process where a defendant can plead guilty to a reduced charge. This means there is no trial, but a lesser sentence. I also know of fact bargaining - where a defendant says a certain fact is true in exchange for the prosecutor not using other facts in the case.
From this definition, I assumed that abolishing plea bargaining meant that defendants could no longer plead guilty at all.
However, then I read the following quote from a book:
"The evaluation also revealed that, contrary to predictions that defendants would refuse to plead guilty and that the Alaska criminal justice system would grind to a halt, guilty pleas did not decrease and trials did not increase dramatically".
This is in reference to the Alaska ban on plea bargaining. Here's the full paragraph for added context:
Given the controversy surrounding plea bargaining. it is not surprising that a number of jurisdictions have attempted to restrict, or even to eliminate. it. In 1975, for example, the Alaska attorney general issued an order that banned all forms of plea bargaining. Under this policy. prosecutors could not reduce charges or dismiss counts in exchange for guilty pleas; they also were not supposed to ask the court to impose a particular sentence if the defendant agreed to plead guilty. The attorney general imposed the ban on plea bargaining in an effort to increase convictions and restore public confidence in the justice system (Carns 8c Kruse, 1992). An evaluation of the impact of the ban found that explicit sentence bargaining disappeared and that charge bargaining continued for a few months and then “dried up" (Rubinstein 8: White. 1979). The evaluation also revealed that, contrary to predictions that defendants would refuse to plead guilty and that the Alaska criminal justice system would therefore grind to a halt, guilty pleas did not decrease and trials did not increase dramatically. Although the authors of the study concluded that the Alaska experience showed that “the incidence of plea bargaining can be substantially reduced without wrecking a criminal justice system," they also cautioned that the results of the Alaska reform could not necessarily be generalized to other. larger jurisdictions (Rubinstein 8: White, 1979, p. 382).
My question is, if there was a ban on plea bargaining in Alaska, then how could defendants still plead guilty, and why would they choose to do so? How could charge and sentence bargaining "dry up", but guilty pleas still exist?