DYING INSIDE

The New York Times this morning has a front-page piece about the increasing power prosecutors have in extracting guilty pleas from defendants without going to trial. 

After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties.

These tougher sentences have led to a boom in elderly inmates in US prisons. The fastest growing segment of prisoners is those who are 50 and older. In Oklahoma they expect that group to increase by 45% a year for the foreseeable future. For the Fault Lines episode above we gained access to prisons across the US and were shocked by what we found…

Notes

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