If you're guilty, then it's a travesty of justice because you get to go home.
If you're innocent, it's an even worse travesty. But you get to go home.
Snoop from "The Wire" just took such a plea. From the Sun:
She was sentenced to seven years in prison [for heroin dealing], with all of the time suspended except for the five months she has already served while awaiting trial, most of it spent at home, under electronic monitoring.Now I don't think she innocent. But that doesn't matter. Why offer this plea? Because the Office of the State's Attorney has its own issues. And they want their caseload reduced. And they judge their own stats on guilty pleas.
Pearson, 31, explaining her decision to take a deal. She repeatedly said she would have been found "not guilty" at trial, but that she couldn't wait for the proceeding, which could have been years in coming.
What would it take to have a justice system where the accused actually had a timely trial and the guilty actually get punished? We'd need more courtrooms, judges, and lawyers on both sides. That would take money. Lot's of money. And that's not going to happen any time soon.
So we continue with a criminal justice that is dedicated to processing the maximum number of people with as little use of court resources as possible. Mostly it means thousand of people getting caught up in its slow wheels until they accept a plea. Call it what you will, it's not justice.