The Trial Penalty

Aug 9, 2018

Have you heard the phrase “prosecutors will decide”? It’s often used by news stations when discussing a crime and its sentence. As John Oliver pointed out on one episode of his late night show, most people have heard this phrase before, but they have heard it so much that they forget what it means. Prosecutors have the power to decide whether and what to charge against someone. They also have the power to hold crucial evidence until the last minute. Because the evidence is withheld, the case will seem to be stacked against the charged. For this reason, many of the accused choose to plead guilty and try to plead for a lower sentence instead of risking receiving a life sentence in a trial.