Reform Plea Bargains

Yesterday I watched the documentary The Vanishing Trial, about America’s abusive plea bargain and sentencing system. Today a panel interested in reform further discussed the relevant issues. See also the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawers document, “The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It.” The University of California Press collects a variety of articles on the subject. Here is the essential problem: By threatening people with absurd and unconstitutional overpunishment if they go to trial and lose, prosecutors often coerce plea deals, even for people who are innocent.


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