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I've been spamming this opinion on just about every AS thread: Plea bargaining should go.

It's a SCOTUS issue, but I can't see how it's even constitutional to punish a person for demanding their constitutional right to a trial. And yes - it's a punishment, as the expected outcome of a jury trial tends to be much harsher than a plea bargain. I really doubt under 10% of defendants would demand a trial if there weren't effectively a penalty for doing so. (Aaron never would have gotten 10 years, but even 12 months would still be much harsher than the 6 months they offered).

The only reason to plead guilty should be to save time, costs, and establish contrition (sorry judge, I did it, and I feel bad ... can you give me a slightly lower penalty?)

I understand that public prosecutors and judges are underpaid and overworked, but if they can't do their jobs there's no shortage of law grads out there. It would cost a little more, but if you're locking someone up for 6 months and can't afford give them a day in court (Aaron's case may have been a bit more than a day, but I doubt the average court case would take much time at all) then you shouldn't be prosecuting them at all.

I guess there's not as much scope for corruption though. Privatised prisons are a massive money maker. Public prosecutors and judges probably don't bribe (sorry ... support) their representatives nearly as much as prisons.

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