In 2016, 97.3% of defendants in the federal criminal justice system conceded guilt. This means that less than 3% of defendants exercised their constitutional right to trial. The vast majority of a criminal defense attorney's time is dedicated to plea bargaining - we negotiate with prosecutors to reach an acceptable outcome for clients. Plea negotiations are an important tool for defendants. However, when a defendant wishes to go to trial, is he or she punished for doing so?
In The Justice System, the federal government recently announced that it will be adding approximately 300 Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) nationwide. This increase marks the largest in decades. The government intends to increase resources to combat violent crime, enforce immigration laws, and help address the devastating opioid crisis.
Politicians speak frequently about Narcotics and Drugs. Recently, the Trump administration rolled out a plan to combat the opioid crisis, which includes increased funding for Medicaid recipients struggling with addiction and testing for opioids in prisons to direct people towards treatment centers. Also among these measures is a plan to subject some drug cases to the death penalty. No matter where one stands on these efforts, the first question should be: how effective will these measures be?