New Law & Psychology Blog - The (In)Justice System Blog
There is a new blog on Psychology Today that readers will find a valuable resource. The blog, called the (In)Justice System, describes itself as "Empirically evaluating today's criminal justice system and avenues for reform." The blog is authored by Dr. Miko Wilford of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Dr. Wilford is an award winning and prolific scholar who conducts research in various areas of the criminal system, including plea bargaining. In fact, I believe this new blog will focus much of its attention on our current system of bargains.
The first blog entry from the (In)Justice System blog is entitled "Avoiding Jury Duty Could Be a Thing of the Past." The entry focuses on the disappearing trial and the rise of plea bargaining. After introducing the reader to the right to trial and the impact of plea bargains on trial rates, Dr. Wilford discusses some of the many negative consequences of a system dominated by pleas. In particular, the entry discusses the risk of false confessions and the use of the trial penalty to increase the sentence of those who refuse to bargain. From the blog:
Even defendants who refuse to plead guilty are still affected by the plea system. To incentivize pleading guilty, the cost of going to trial has increased dramatically. It now seems clear that criminal defendants are being punished for exercising their constitutional right to a jury trial.
Congratulations to Dr. Wilford on the new blog. The (In)Justice System blog will be a great resource for empirical data and information on the criminal system.