In his now classic body of work on plea bargaining, the late William Stuntz answered one the of the most disturbing challenges to the institution of plea bargaining: That it promotes conviction of the innocent by putting them to the torturous choice of pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit, or going to trial and facing the possibility of conviction, and thus even more time. Stuntz, like other scholars, persuasively contended that denying innocent defendants the opportunity for a plea bargain could only make them worse off because they would be forced to go to trial where they could receive a higher sentence. Awful as it is, the predicament of the innocent defendant, therefore, is not, standing alone, a reason to eliminate plea bargaining.
Gabriel J. Chin,
Do Procedural Claims Drive out Merits Claims in Plea Bargaining?: A Comment on the Work of the Late Professor William Stuntz,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol51/iss3/13