Because of the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, anyone accused of a crime is entitled to a trial by jury. To whit:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to…a public trial, by an impartial jury of the…district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”
Nowadays, that right is denied to 98% of the people facing criminal charges. Why?
Rather than facing a possible conviction for a serious offense, many of those accused plead guilty to a lesser offense and may have never even committed any crime at all.
In many cases, the possibility of being found guilty by a jury is a risk that most defendants are unwilling to take. As a result, they plead guilty to a crime they may not have even committed in order to avoid the risk of a longer sentence. The system that was created to provide equal justice is now coercing suspects to plead guilty without a proper jury trial.
The guilt or innocence of an individual accused of a crime should be determined by a jury of their peers and not by judges and prosecuting attorneys.
An individual who has not committed a crime should never be convinced to plead guilty to a lesser crime just to avoid prosecution.
When a fully informed jury is in charge the people rather than the judges and the attorneys are in control. Find our more about this at the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA).