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Fritz Feds

Friday, March 31, 2006

Plea Bargaining, Unconstitutional?

Over at Liberteaser, there's a post on plea bargaining. The poster seems to think that plea bargaining usually denotes laziness on the part of the prosecutor, and takes away from the constitutional right to trial by jury, because "if you make us go through this much work, we're going to put you away for a long time". I can understand this point of view. I can see why it's frustrating to see one person who excercised their constitutional right for a trial by jury get a sentence five times as long as one who did the same offense but was a good negotiator with the prosecutor. It's almost like it's a worse offense to ask to be tried by one's peers than the original crime. Then again, I've gotten many traffic tickets taken off my record by essentially plea-bargaining with the prosecutor, and I realize how busy these guys are. In the universe of problems afflicting our judicial system, this is a very small star. But my imminent and looming participation in some facet of our system is more like the Sun. In other words, the increase in plea bargaining should be the least of our worries.


Before coming to the conclusion that the increase in plea bargaining should be the least of our worries, I would suggest reading this by Mike at Crime & Federalism,

and this by Judge Fine in a paper he wrote for the Federalist society:

They make a very convincing case that you should reconsider your stance on plea-bargaining.
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