Go to Trial - Crash the Criminal Justice System

This old opinion piece was going around a lawyer group today. It's spot on. If even 1/5 of defendants demanded a jury trial it would bankrupt Texas criminal justice and county governments. If even 5% of municipal court defendants demanded a trial, even though they aren't appointed an attorney, it would bankrupt every city i represent, or we'd have to dismiss cases by the hundreds.

The criminal justice system is so abusive because even those whose lives it ruins cooperate with it. It could all be destroyed by the end of of February if people were organized.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?_r=3&

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Hell yeah, rock the system! Phone Post 3.0

what would happen is most of these people would get much longer sentences and convicted of much more serious crimes. Therefore they'd spend more time in prison.

cruedi - what would happen is most of these people would get much longer sentences and convicted of much more serious crimes. Therefore they'd spend more time in prison.



But a lot of them that don't deserve to be prosecuted would get off completely. 

interesting. it's like game theory.

if more people went to trial, more cases would get dismissed. but no one wants to be the one who actually go to trial, because they would most likely get harsher sentences. but, if they came together and agreed to all go to trial, it would be in their favor, on average.

maybe start a foundation where all your clients agree to go to trial, and the number of successes of your law firm would go up.

cruedi - what would happen is most of these people would get much longer sentences and convicted of much more serious crimes. Therefore they'd spend more time in prison.


that's true of any individual defendant, and that's why lawyers tell them to take the deal, and that's why they take the deal. What's true of individuals is not always true of groups. For example, any individual worker might be better off breaking a picket line, but they all win bigger if the strike persists and results in a better deal.

For criminal defendants, if they all just demanded a speedy trial, county jails would overflow in a matter of weeks, they'd be forced to release people, the dockets would get so long that a speedy trial would become impossible, there wouldn't be enough public defenders to counsel all those defendants, the system would collapse incredibly quickly. People's cases would have to be dimsissed en masse and all defendants would be much better off.

. Phone Post 3.0

slam1523 - interesting. it's like game theory.

if more people went to trial, more cases would get dismissed. but no one wants to be the one who actually go to trial, because they would most likely get harsher sentences. but, if they came together and agreed to all go to trial, it would be in their favor, on average.

maybe start a foundation where all your clients agree to go to trial, and the number of successes of your law firm would go up.

the system is rigged to prevent this from happening, at least by lawyers. I couldn't ethically do that for lots of reasons, and honestly, it's against my financial interests. The system, unsurprisingly, works out just fine for lawyers.

It would have to be a more widespread movement from outside the criminal justice system.

RockTheVote - So... A Criminals Union would be the way to go? Phone Post 3.0

at the very least it deserves a #.

#GoToTrial