The Costs of (In)Justice

The Earl Warren Institute of Law and Social Policy at Berkeley Law has published an interesting study on the characteristics and costs of wrongful convictions in California: Criminal (In)Justice. Amongst other conclusions, the report estimates the taxpayer cost of those convictions at more than $282 million. The report also documents more than a quarter of the convictions were the result of plea bargains, once again highlighting the extent to which systemic problems, including over criminalization, can drive guilty or no contest pleas where the risks of going to trial out-weigh what should be the moral imperative of truth.

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