archive archive
justice scales

Has Plea Bargaining Distorted American Justice?

Every day, in the corridors of most U.S. courts, defense attorneys and prosecutors quietly negotiate plea deals in a system of “underground justice” that often shortchanges defendants. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, Texas scholar William Kelly offers an alternative.

archive archive archive
courtroom

Are Witnesses Still Needed in Modern Trials?

Not really, say two law professors. They argue in a Texas Law Review article that it’s time to rethink the centuries-old traditions of Western jurisprudence that have made witnesses the centerpiece of criminal and civil trials—and replace them with more dependable ways of arriving at the truth.

archive
courtroom

A ‘Holistic’ Approach to Wrongful Convictions

The “piecemeal” approach by state and federal court approach to addressing trial-level errors fails to account for the complex ways that seemingly independent errors interact with one another, writes a professor at the Northeastern University School of Law.

archive archive
painting

Memo to Prosecutors: Listen to the People You Punish

 While there are good constitutional reasons for barring prosecutors from speaking directly with defendants without their attorneys’ permission,  it shouldn’t prevent them from trying to understand the lives and perspectives of those most affected by what they do, writes a former assistant district attorney.

archive archive