Thursday, April 10, 2008

Criminal Procedure . . .

We're studying from Criminal Procedure now. As a general rule, legal "scholarship" is pretty much a joke, but every so often we come across a gem that is beautifully written and just as accurate and insightful. Consider George Fisher, who also writes a damned-good evidence textbook, on plea bargaining:

There is no glory in plea bargaining. In a place of a noble clash for truth, plea bargaining gives us a skulking truce. Opposing lawyers shrink from battle, and the jury's empty box signals the system's disappointment. But though its victory merits no fanfare, plea bargaining has triumphed. Bloodlessly and clandestinely, it has swept across the penal landscape and driven our vanquished jury into small pockets of resistance. Plea bargaining may be, as some chroniclers claim, the invading barbarian. But it has won all the same.

George Fisher, Plea Bargaining's Triumph, 109 YALE L.J. 857, 859 (2000).

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