Our American criminal justice system is too often described as broken. It was not a clean break in a single, isolated location. Instead, our criminal justice system suffers from many, many little nicks, bumps, and bruises at the hands of its keepers. The evolution of sentencing enhancements within our criminal justice system represents the latest nagging, reoccurring injury. In the ultimate Trojan horse to criminal defendants, the Supreme Court sought to protect the individual rights of the accused with its recent decisions on sentencing enhancements. But at the hands of lawmakers, the judiciary, and prosecutors, criminal defendants suffer more. Our criminal justice system also suffers from practices related to sentencing enhancements and the resulting wave of wrongful convictions by guilty plea.
Wes R. Porter,
Threaten Sentencing Enhancement, Coerce Plea, (Wash, Rinse,) Repeat: A Cause of Wrongful Conviction by Guilty Plea,
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/lawreview/vol3/iss2/5