The Penalty For Taking a Case to Trial.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) released The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It. The ‘trial penalty’ refers to the substantial difference between the sentence offered prior to trial versus the sentence a defendant receives after trial. This penalty is now so severe and pervasive that it has virtually eliminated the constitutional right to a trial. To avoid the penalty, accused persons must surrender many other fundamental rights which are essential to a fair justice system. The release of this report garnered support from leading criminal justice reform entities, all of which agree that the incursion on the right to a trial poses a clear threat to justice.
This report is the product of more than two years of careful research and deliberation. In it, NACDL examines sentencing and other data underlying the fact that, after a 50 year decline, fewer than 3% of federal criminal cases result in a trial. With more than 97% of criminal cases being resolved by plea in a constitutional system predicated upon the Sixth Amendment right to a trial, the fact of imbalance and injustice in the system is self-evident. The report identifies and exposes the underlying causes of the decline of the federal criminal trial and puts forth meaningful, achievable principles and recommendations to address this crisis. With its release, NACDL intends to launch a sustained effort to rein in the abuse of the trial penalty throughout the federal and state criminal justice systems. The Trial Penalty report, and the principles and recommendations it puts forward, seeks to save the right to a trial from extinction.
“With the release of the report today, NACDL hopes to begin a reform movement that will save the basic right to a trial,” said NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer. “The founders of this country recognized that the right to a trial – the interposition of one’s peers as a check on government abuse of the power of the prosecutor – was essential to the preservation of liberty. The ability to test evidence, both its legality and its factual sufficiency, is essential to prevent tyranny.”
Above info taken from press release from NACDL
Read The NACDL Report
You can view the entire report here.
If You Have Questions About A Criminal Case
Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.