This is the age of advocacy. Most people who are now convicted in the criminal justice system waive the right to a trial and the multiplicity of protections that accompany one of the measures, including the right to appeal. Instead, they plead guilty. The vast majority of convictions are today the result of pleas – about 94 per cent nationally and about 97 per cent at the federal level. Estimates of crime are even higher. These are amazing statistics, and they reveal a new truth about the American criminal justice system: very few cases are tried. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recognized this reality in 2012 and wrote for the majority of Missouri v. Frye, a case that helped establish the right to competent legal aid for defendants who are offered a plea. Referring to a law review article, Kennedy wrote: «The trafficking of horses [between the prosecutor and the lawyer] determines who goes to jail for how long.

It`s the plea for negotiation. It is not a complement to the criminal justice system; It is the criminal justice system. «Some critics argue that the plea for the accused is unfair because prosecutors have too much latitude to choose the charges that an accused offender may face. They argue that prosecutors are using too much to make guilty arguments about minor offences on the part of the accused, depriving them of procedural safeguards and a full investigation into the trial. The history of U.S. arguments is rather opaque, not least because negotiations were deemed inappropriate in most countries and jurisdictions until the late 1960s. Some of the first arguments took place during the colonial era during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, when the accused witches were told that they would live if they were confessed, but would be executed if they did not. The judges of Salem wanted to promote the confession, and to discover other witches, they wanted the avowed witches to testify against others. The guilty verdict saved many witches accused of execution.

Later, the Salem Witch Trials were used to illustrate one of the strongest arguments against pleas: that the practice sometimes leads innocent defendants to plead guilty. This dynamic, combined with national trends over the past 30 years, which have long supported mandatory sentences, gives prosecutors undue influence. If an accused is considering appearing, a prosecutor could be hanged on a charge that includes a mandatory life sentence. Instead, an admission of guilt could be eight or 10 years old, «or choose a number,» said Matt Sotorosen, a chief lawyer with the San Francisco Public Defender Office. «Even if you have an innocent client, most people don`t want to take this opportunity. They will only last eight years. What if it`s about going south to court? The results of this unsired calculation can be found in the data from the National Registry of Exonerations: out of 2,006 offloads recorded since the beginning of the project in 1989, 362 of them, or 18 per cent, were based on guilty arguments. Ember Eyster told me that it was sometimes possible to dismiss crimes with a little investigation.

Perhaps a transgression tax does not hold, for example, because the owner of the property had not posted a sign of non-passage. But it takes time, and customers who can`t get loyal must be in jail until the job is done. It`s a choice that few people are willing to make for the small chance to avoid a conviction. Many clients tell Eyster, as soon as they meet her, that they want to plead guilty and have time served. Critics on the left and right agree that our criminal justice system, which now depends on pleas, is broken. Among them is Jed S. Rakoff, a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York, who wrote about plea abuse in 2014, in The New York Review of Books.