Law & Disorder

The deception of plea bargaining w/ Dan Canon; Plus, our Resistance in Residence artist is Coco Peila

Most Americans believe that the jury trial is the backbone of our criminal justice system. But in fact, the vast majority of cases never make it to trial: almost all criminal convictions are the result of a plea bargain, a deal made entirely out of the public eye.

Our guest today is Dan Canon, author of Pleading Out: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class. Dan Canon is a civil rights lawyer, teacher, writer, and educator based primarily in Indiana and Kentucky. He is a professor of law at the Louis D Brandeis School of Law, and served as lead counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges. He focuses his lawyering work on defending the rights of incarcerated people, and challenging wrongful convictions, abuse and overreach by law enforcement.

In his book, Dan Canon argues that plea bargaining may swiftly dispose of cases, but it also fuels an unjust system. This practice produces a massive underclass of people who are restricted from voting, working, and otherwise participating in society. And while innocent people plead guilty to crimes they did not commit in exchange for lesser sentences, the truly guilty can get away with murder.

Follow Dan Canon on his website:

Our Resistance in Residence artist this week is Bay Area-born and raised rapper, vocalist, songwriter, producer, and cultural organizer, Coco Peila. Learn more about her on her website:


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