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Houston Trial Lawyer Andy Drumheller says Plentiful Federal Plea Bargains Skew System
October 3, 2012 8:22 am

Plea bargains are soaring in the federal criminal justice system, with 97 percent of federal criminal cases ending in pleas last year, up from 84 percent in 1990, according to a report this week in The Wall Street Journal. Houston trial lawyer Andy Drumheller of Rusty Hardin & Associates says that's a troubling trend. "Plea bargains are supposed to be based on sentences lawyers expect from trials. If only a fraction of cases are tried, then the system spirals into a parody, like the stock market reacting to itself rather than to the real-world value of companies," says the former prosecutor. "A lack of trials and actual experience testing juries' and judges' reactions to disputed issues leaves the accused in the dark and the system drinking its own Kool-Aid." For more information, contact Mary Flood at 800-559-4534 or

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