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A negotiated agreement whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense or to one of multiple charges in exchange for some concession by the prosecutor. Plea bargaining is not of recent vintage. It appears to have originated in seventeenth century England as a means of mitigating unduly harsh punishments.' State v. Brockman 27 Md. App. 682, 692, 341 A. 2d 849 (1975) 692, n. 2. 


 Ninety-seven percent of federal convictions and ninety-four percent of state convictions are the result of guilty pleas. See Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online, Table 5.22.2009, http://www.albany.edu/ sourcebook/pdf/t5222009.pdf (all Internet materials as visited Mar. 1, 2012, and available in Clerk of Court's case file); Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, S. Rosenmerkel, M. Durose, & D. Farole, Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2006-Statistical Tables, p. 1 (NCJ226846, rev. Nov. 2010), http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fssc06st.pdf; Padilla, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284, 298 (recognizing pleas account for nearly 95% of all criminal convictions).


The Supreme Court has observed: 'Whatever might be the situation in an ideal world, the fact is that the guilty plea and the often concomitant plea bargain ...

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