Trial by Plea Bargain

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A courtroom in the Cook County Criminal Court building in Illinois.
From and

In the wheeling, dealing world of federal pleas and bargaining for sentences, a trial by jury is sometimes an afterthought. Last year, guilty pleas resolved more than 97 percent of federal cases prosecuted to conclusion by the Justice Department. That rate is way up along with the number of federal criminal defendants in the past decade, a number that has doubled.

David Feige is the author of "Indefensible: One Lawyer's Journey into the Inferno of American Justice." He's also the former trial chief of the Bronx Defenders. He currently works at the National Criminal Defense College.