The right to a fair trial effectively does not exist for federal drug defendants in the United States.
So finds a 126-page report released by Human Rights Watch on Thursday entitled .
Click Here: maori all blacks rugby jersey
This groundbreaking study tracks the process by which federal prosecutors systematically use the threat of severe punishment to coerce drug defendants into pleading guilty and waiving their constitutionally protected right to a fair trial.
Case reviews and interviews with federal prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges reveal prosecutors have broad latitude to levy such threats, because they determine which charges are brought against the defendant and whether prior drug felonies are included in the sentence—factors that can bring staggering penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences.
The small minority who go to trial are harshly punished for doing so. In 2012, federal drug defendants who went to trial faced average sentences of 16 years, three times the average of five years and four months for those who pled guilty, Human Rights Watch finds.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT