In the United States, the majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements rather than a trial by jury. Plea agreements have become an increasingly popular resolution to criminal cases in recent years, with some sources estimating that up to 90% of all criminal cases in the country are resolved through plea bargaining.

Plea bargaining is the process by which a defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to a reduced sentence in exchange for a concession from the prosecution. This concession may take the form of a reduced sentence, a dismissal of certain charges, or a promise not to seek the death penalty. Plea bargaining is used in both federal and state courts, and is a tool widely used to manage the caseloads of overburdened courts.

There are a variety of reasons why plea bargaining has become so popular in the United States. First, plea bargains allow prosecutors to focus their resources on the most serious cases, while also allowing defendants to avoid the uncertainties and risks of trial. Additionally, plea bargaining can lead to more predictable and consistent sentencing outcomes, as defendants are often willing to accept a plea bargain that they believe will result in a more lenient sentence than they might receive if they were convicted at trial.

The percentage of criminal cases that result in plea agreements varies depending on the jurisdiction, the type of crime, and the severity of the charges. In some states, such as Texas and California, the percentage of cases that end in plea bargaining is estimated to be as high as 95%. In other states, such as Alaska and Hawaii, the number is closer to 70%.

While plea agreements have been criticized by some legal experts for depriving defendants of their right to a fair trial, others argue that they are an essential tool for ensuring that justice is served efficiently and effectively. Regardless of one`s opinion on the merits of plea bargaining, it is clear that it has become an integral part of the American criminal justice system, with a significant majority of cases now resolved through this process rather than through trial.