Our Constitution contains multiple procedural due process rights that are critically important to our democracy and to our country's vision of justice. When any of them are eroded, our system fails to operate as it was intended.
Despite the popular understanding that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the government engages in practices that punish large numbers of Americans—depriving them of their time, their property, and even their liberty—without the benefit of a jury trial or other essential procedural rights. These practices have enabled mass incarceration and eroded the framers’ vision for a system of due process that limits the government’s ability to punish its citizens indiscriminately.
Carolyn Iodice, Senior Counsel at Clause 40 Foundation, and Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick, Ransdell Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law and Director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project, discuss Hessick's new book, Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining is A Bad Deal, a timely exploration of how plea bargaining prevents true criminal legal reform. Their conversation covers how the system got to this point, how it unfairly burdens individuals and communities, and how we can fix it.
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