Friday, February 22, 2013

How Mandatory Minimum Sentences Distort Plea Bargaining

The Economist is one of Steven's favorite publications.  In the January 26th issue, an article was printed titled THUMB ON THE SCALE: How Mandatory Minimum Sentences Distort Plea Bargaining.

While plea bargaining can certainly reduce the burden of our over scheduled courts, and can work the advantage to all parties, there is a downside.  Our over burdened court system, combined with mandatory minimum sentences has led to a beyond overburdened prison system.

The article concludes with the call that all defendants should have the right to see the evidence the state has collected against them - INCLUDING EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE, before a defendant accepts a plea bargain.

The article can be read in its entirety on The Economist 's website:  http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21570742-how-mandatory-minimum-sentences-distort-plea-bargaining-thumb-scale

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