Rampant Plea Bargaining Is a Raw Deal for Defendants

A new report details how plea bargaining can hurt defendants and warps the justice system.

“Challenges to police misconduct are typically resolved through pretrial litigation, but the death of the trial has also increasingly meant the death of pretrial litigation, including those hearings that would bring to light police misconduct,” the report states. “Trial and pretrial litigation are essential for holding police and other state actors accountable, and plea bargaining has eroded these systems of accountability.” Moreover, many “defendants are often denied discovery, including exculpatory evidence, before they make the decision to plead guilty.”


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