In the News


Why innocent people plead guilty

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

jury trial and the guilty pleas of the innocentIn the November 20, 2014 issue of The New York Review of Books, Jed Rakoff, explores why innocent people plead guilty. Rakoff notes that before the Civil War, guilty pleas in the American Justice system were rare but in the present day upwards of 97% of all cases are resolved in negotiated guilty pleas conducted in backrooms away from public scrutiny. In fact, the founding fathers intended for the jury trial to be central guard against tyranny in the American Justice system and assumed that at least most cases would be resolved by a jury and not just 3%.  However, because Prosecutors control what charges a Defendant will face before a jury trial which controls the range of sentencing, and Judges control the range of punishment after a jury trial, many innocent people seek negotiated guilty pleas with prosecutors to either minimize the possible range of punishment with a lesser charge or in response to the fear harsher sentencing by a Judge after trial if they reject a pre-trial guilty plea offer.  Rakoff suggests that guidelines be developed that limit prosecutors ability to charge as they wish and prevent Judges from punishing Defendants who seek a jury trial and reject a prosecutors pre-trial plea offers.  As DUI Defense lawyers, we see Judge's punish Defendant's that risk jury trials with as much as ten times the jail time of a pre-trial plea so they can efficiently move their calendar.  That is just plan old coercion. It hardly seems fair. 

-Author: George Creal 





is a trial lawyer with 18 years of courtroom experience. He is one of only 6 Atlanta DUI lawyers with both an AV Preeminent rating from and a 10.0/10.0 Superb rating on He has over 100 "not guilty" verdicts under his belt and has forged indispensable relationships with police, judges and prosecutors all over the State of Georgia in order to benefit his clients' defense.
George Creal Attorney Profile+

The National Trial Lawyers


George C. Creal Jr., P.C., Top Atlanta DUI Law Firm

No legal advice should be obtained from the web site alone. George C. Creal, Jr., P.C. is Georgia Professional Corporation authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia only and all information contained in this web site is intended for use for DUI/DWIs occurring in the State of Georgia. Individuals with DUI/DWIs from outside the State of Georgia should contact a licensed attorney in the state of occurrence of their DUI. Copyright © 2015 George C. Creal, Jr. P.C.
Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Checker
George C. Creal Jr.
on Google+

Atlanta Office: 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., NE, Unit 190, Atlanta, GA 30312 Phone: (404) 333-0706