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Politics & Public Policy

Anatomy of Justice: The Mystery of Plea Agreements

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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"Plea bargaining ultimately dominates what we do in the criminal justice system." – The Honorable Michael P. Donnelly

The Sixth Amendment guarantees that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.”

And yet, in today's criminal justice system, very few cases go to trial. Instead, most cases are resolved through a plea bargaining process by which the accused plead guilty - even for crimes they didn't commit - to avoid a trial and lengthy prison sentence. Ninety-four percent of felony convictions at the state level and 97 percent of felony convictions at the federal level are the result of plea bargains. This practice contributes to the rise of mass incarceration of the poor and minorities in the U.S.

How can we make sense of the plea process? Can it be reformed? Join us to hear from several local leaders in this latest installment of the Anatomy of Justice series.

Doors at 5 p.m., Forum 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

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