Showing posts from October, 2017

Commentary and Research re Race and Plea Bargaining

The Marshall Project has a new commentary piece online regarding race and plea bargaining.  The piece, entitled " When Race Tips the Scales in Plea Bargaining " begins with this story. TWO OFFICERS ESCORTED a young black man into the courtroom, bringing him in handcuffs from a holding cell in the back called “the pen.” They placed him beside his public defender and stepped away. So far, things were routine.   The prosecutor had offered the man a plea deal of probation and he indicated that he would accept. In a scene that plays out dozens of times a day in the Bronx criminal court, the judge ran through a constitutionally required script.   This article was published in collaboration with Slate. She explained what it means to accept a prosecutor’s plea offer: that he was giving up his right to a trial; he was admitting guilt; he could not change his mind. The judge asked, as she must: “Is anyone forcing you to accept this plea today?” At this point, most people quietly