But I'm not alarmed that the majority of offenders plea out.
Trials are enormously expensive, and, in a coldly rational statistical sense, most of the accused are in fact guilty --- the fact patterns in many of these cases and the evidence supporting them are very straightforward. That there would be some incentive for the accused to spare the system the expense of litigation doesn't bother me, especially because the more resources get freed up from pointless controversies, the more resources are available to handle meaningful ones.
So, I think we agree that there's a problem, but not what its causes are.
Either way: plea out or not, these cases don't get brought without "untainted" evidence. The problem is that the DOJ's definition of "untainted" is subtly broken. "Fruit of a poisonous tree" is a good Google search to follow up on this.
I'm still not sure how it has come to pass that Americans simply blithely accept all this.
If you wanted to find a quick way to synthesize a dispute where none needed to exist, taking a shotgun to the whole of American criminal justice would be one way to accomplish that.
I suppose my point was that there is an underlying cause here, of encroaching authoritarianism in American jurisprudence that I find both alarming and surprising, but if you feel threatened by that, then by all means feel free not to take it as delivered to your address.
They're all related. They're all policies and actions of overly zealous bureaucrats with too much power and little to no accountability.
If 4 different terror operations were coming from Al Qaeda affiliated cells, we'd say they were all Al Qaeda related. If 4 different drug dealers were busted that were all being supplied by one source, we'd call it a drug ring.
All of the operations mentioned - the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture, the DEA intelligence program from today, the TSA - are a ring of government operatives that are terrorizing, robbing and imprisoning Americans.
Without a trial, how do we know that?
If I am accused of something terrible, of which I am innocent, but a plea bargain gets me back to my family in N years instead of Never (or 10*N), I'm likely to lie and plead guilty. We've seen that the government doesn't merely use plea bargaining as a cost reduction tool, but rather as a very large hammer with which to ensure that people get punished in extreme ways.
While there are good police and prosecutors, as a system they are driven to increase convictions rather than to find the _guilty_. Given the chance, they can find something to convict nearly anyone of, and guilty verdicts can be nearly guaranteed against even people who are innocent by heaping up enough charges that either defense is too expensive or the penalty of losing at trial too large.
True, if primary cause isn't challenged the legal system doesn't consider antecedents as evidence; but the courts only make decisions - they have no input into the consequences of those decisions, other than the making of them.
Edit: Seems a bunch of civil law countries have introduce plea bargains the last 15 years, but before that almost none of them had it. This makes it a bit hard to find a concrete list of examples since almost all hits are about the countries introducing it with little discussion about why some countries do not do the same.