Suppose that someone is charged with a crime. Before they are arraigned, they negotiate with the prosecution about a potential plea bargain, but do not reach one and instead go to trial.
- During the trial, is the prosecution allowed to discuss any tentative plea bargains that were discussed with the defendant?
- Does the jury receive any instructions about whether or not they are supposed to consider any information about potential plea bargains that they may have learned, whether through or outside of the trial?
- Do the answers to questions #1 and #2 depend on how far the plea negotiations got before the parties decided to go to trial? For example:
a. The defendant discussed possible plea bargains, but neither party ever agreed to any.
b. The defendant offered a plea bargain, but the prosecution rejected it.
c. Both parties reached a plea agreement and non-publicly offered it to the judge, but the judge rejected it and the defendent decided to go to trial.
d. Both parties reached a plea agreement and announced it publicly, but then the judge rejected it and the defendent decided to go to trial.
- Are the answers to questions #1-3 the same for state and federal trials?
It seems to me that if the prosecution could reveal during a trial that the defendant had previously been prepared to plea guilty, then that could significantly influence the jury's determination of the defendant's guilt.