The ‘Age of the Plea Bargain’ in U.S. Criminal Justice

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This is the age of the plea bargain in U.S. courts. Most people adjudicated in the criminal justice system waive the right to a trial and the host of protections that go along with one, including the right to appeal. Instead, they plead guilty. The vast majority of felony convictions are now the result of plea bargains—94 percent at the state level, and 97 percent at the federal level. Estimates for misdemeanor convictions run even higher. These are . . .

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