Thursday, December 17, 2015

Obama Ignores Judge’s Plea for Justice Reform

President Obama has claimed that he wants to make criminal justice reform a priority during his second term. However, he has failed to implement the one criminal justice reform he has the sole authority and power to accomplish unilaterally, without the cooperation of Congress.

It is a reform that has been urged frequently and publicly by John Gleeson, a prominent U.S. District Court judge. Gleeson has argued that criminal defendants in the U.S. justice system are being coerced into pleading guilty by federal prosecutors who threaten them with draconian prison sentences if they insist on going to trial. This so-called “trial penalty,” Gleeson insists, has deprived defendants of their constitutional rights to trial by jury and due process of law. It has also filled the federal prisons with people who don’t need to be there.


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