In this file photo, Lebanese policemen stand guard at Roumieh Prison, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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A collaboration between the Higher Judicial Council and U.S. academics is exploring the concept of plea bargaining as a way to tackle chronic overcrowding in Lebanese prisons.A plea bargain is an agreement reached between a prosecutor and a defendant in which the accused pleads guilty in return for a lighter sentence or for certain charges to be dropped.The idea of introducing plea bargaining to Lebanon emerged as a potential way to reduce prison over-crowding during U.S. State Department talks with Lebanese officials via the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.During a 2016 visit to the U.S., Lebanese officials from the Higher Judicial Council seemed most interested in the concept of plea bargaining as a means to achieve this, Medwed said.The professor said that any form of plea bargaining potentially implemented in Lebanon would, out of necessity, be customized to fit the context.There is a strong possibility that some form of plea bargaining could be introduced in Lebanon, but its implementation might be gradual, starting with certain types of cases to see how the new mechanism works, he added.
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