CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

""Why innocent people plead guilty": Judge Jed Rakoff suggests "tens of thousands of innocent people" have been "coerced into pleading guilty""

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy excerpts and links to an article covering the judge's speech:

“Plea bargains have led many innocent people to take a deal,” Rakoff said. “People accused of crimes are often offered five years by prosecutors or face 20 to 30 years if they go to trial. … The prosecutor has the information, he has all the chips … and the defense lawyer has very, very little to work with. So it’s a system of prosecutor power and prosecutor discretion. I saw it in real life [as a criminal defense attorney], and I also know it in my work as a judge today.”

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