Where the Innocent Plead Guilty

Judge Rakoff of the Southern District of New York continues his lonely judicial crusade against over-charging and the plea bargaining system as we know it. A recent  The Crime Report article, “A Draconian System Where the Innocent Plead Guilty,” details some of the issues:

“[Judge Rakoff]  called the plea bargaining process a “system of totally secret justice” where prosecutors, hold all the cards and are able to get a vast majority of defendants to plead guilty to charges when faced with extremely long sentences — imposed through sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimums.

Julie Seaman, a professor at the Emory University School of Law and Board President of the Georgia Innocence Project, said it’s now a system where “it’s completely rational for an innocent person to plead guilty,” because there is so much risk involved in going to trial.”

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