ABA Task Force On Plea Bargaining

There is a Call for Comment from the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s Plea Bargaining Task Force:

The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section has created a task force to more closely examine the role of plea bargaining in our modern system of criminal justice.  Its goal is to develop both broad policy oriented goals for the criminal justice system and, where necessary, specific recommendations for changes in the way plea bargaining operates within the larger criminal justice environment.  These issues will be examined from the perspective of all those involved in the criminal justice system, including prosecutors, defenders, defendants, judges, victims, and others.

To date, the task force has had the opportunity to hear from a number of advocacy groups, researchers, and policy makers regarding the benefits of the plea bargaining system, the negative consequences resulting from our reliance on plea bargaining and the current structure of the plea bargaining system, and potential reforms and paths forward.  To ensure that as wide a possible audience is able to voice concerns, perspectives, and ideas about the plea bargaining system as the task force begins drafting its report and recommendations, we encourage those interested to provide written comments to us.

Comments should be in written form and should be submitted to the Task Force’s Reporter, Professor Thea Johnson (thea.johnson @ rutgers.edu) by April 15, 2021.  Written comments may address any aspect of the plea bargaining system that the drafter believes will assist the committee in its work.  Please note that the task force intends to create a publicly accessible website with information about the work of the task force, the task force’s report, materials from the presentations that were made before the task force, and materials submitted for the task force’s consideration.  We hope that this repository will be a valuable tool for those interested in plea bargaining.  As a result, please note that your submitted comments, including the identity of the submitting individual(s) or organization(s), are not confidential and may (at our sole discretion and without further permission) appear in this public forum.  Reference to and quotations from comments received, including the identity of the author(s), may also (at our sole discretion and without further permission) appear in the official report of the committee.

We hope those interested in these topics will consider participating in this opportunity for comment.

1 thought on “ABA Task Force On Plea Bargaining

  1. My favorite scholarship on plea bargaining was written by Professor John Langbein and entitled: “Torture and Plea Bargaining, ” 46 The University of Chicago Law Review p.3 (1978). His thesis is still applicable.


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