The "trial penalty" is a concept widely accepted by all the major actors in the criminal justice system: defendants, prosecutors, defense attorneys, court employees, and judges. The notion is that defendants receive longer sentences at trial than they would have through plea bargain, often substantially longer. The concept is intuitive: longer sentences are necessary in order to induce settlements and without a high settlement rate it would be impossible for courts as currently structured to sustain their immense caseload.
David S. Abrams,
Putting the Trial Penalty on Trial,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol51/iss3/14