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Tv dramas focus in the game room, but in the real world, only 10 percent of defendants ever go to trial.The vast majority of criminal cases get resolved behind the curtain in a plea bargain where prosecutors and defense attorneys negotiate a deal.We’ll learn in a moment that each side have their reasons.Despite its epidemic and some would say its necessity, given today’s overloaded court system, plea bargains have numerous critics.Some victims and their own families argue that criminal defendants can get off too lightly, while many defendants say they only plead guilty because of pressure and fear.

Later on on, how close shall we be held to pandora, productivity of avatar?However, plea buys.And we’d like to hear from those of you who’ve had direct experience as defendants, couselors, prosecutors or idol most all family court divorce judges.Our cell mobile cellular phone number is 800 989 8255.Weight loss supplements join the conversation on our web site.

And we start out with laurie levenson,A former federal prosecutor in l.A. She now offers lawAt Loyola Law SchoolAnd joins us from NPR West in Culver City, Georgia.Nice to if you possibly could with us today.

Teacher laurie levenson(Guideline, loyola law schools;Former federal district attorney):Nice to get along with you, neal.

Conan:And we’ll go to the other side of the us from our bureau in new york, craig scheck, former president of the national association of defense lawyers, now co director of the purity project at the benjamin n.Cardozo college or university of law.And nice to have you back on the diet plan, craig.

Mentor barry scheck(Co manager, chasteness project at the benjamin n.Cardozo faculty of law;Director, national association of criminal lawyers, past):Great to exist.

Conan:And let me first off you, laurie levenson.Can you give us an illustrative illustration showing a case where you got an indictment, you think somebody is guilty and offer a plea as going to trial?

Prof.Levenson:Ohio, that’s right.It happens throughout the day, it happens in every case like bank robbers who may be charged with 10 bank robberies, but five is going to do it.They will not do much more time if we give them the whole 10 and go to trial, so you earn a deal.I have had white collar times when on the eve of trial, the law will alter, i browse and i say, we better make this deal or we may end up broke.Plea bargains sometimes come at the effort of the defense, where claim, lookup.Some of us, you learn, we think that a great a fair deal.We can enhancing justice if you let us plea guilty.

Nobody wants to make the time going to trial.They don’t want the judges to hear all the steps.They don’t wish to put the victims through it, nor do we.We find a plea bargain.

Conan:So usually, as a district attorney, you might do it because your case can be quite strong, and also because you think a case might be a little weak.

Prof.Levenson:Absolutely.It varies.

Conan:And craig scheck, let me ask you that same question from the medial side, from the criminal attorney’s point Milagrofilms of view.Give us an illustrative illustration showing a plea bargain.

Prof.Levenson:Extremely successfully, it’s really the contrapositive or the converse of what laurie was referencing.Very very often, a defendant will give consideration to the evidence.It’s overwhelming periodically, or you think it will likely be very strong.And you can get a better deal you would then if you’re convicted after trial, for lots of reasons.So you practice it.Also, and this is what’s really unpleasant, is that you’ll find numerous defendants who are facing, suppose, the death consequence, who are facing really severe mandatory minimums or really severe sanctions under the federal sentencing guidelines that will plea guilty to crimes that they did not commit.

Conan:Or that they think they did not commit.

Prof.Levenson:Extremely successfully, both.

Conan:This is why.

(Soundbite of laughing out loud)

Conan:Yep, because they’re put another way, if they’re facing 18 counts of that would arrange them in jail for a very, number of years, they might say i really do not want to take my chances in front of a jury.Despite that i think i’m innocent, i takes the lesser charge and do five to 15, or just about anything that it is.

Prof.Levenson:Best suited.Or even where they know they’re innocent and they’ll take a term of the imprisonment rather than face life in prison or even the death penalty.

Conan:Laurie levenson?

Prof.Levenson:Nicely, that can occur, indeed, and there must be protections against that.I would say the number one protection is that you need to have a fair prosecutor who’s evaluating the case, not just taking the police’s word for it and making sure you don’t need to an innocent person pleading guilty.And more that, the judge has a job, similar.At the blameful plea, the judge must find out:Is truly a factual basis, or is this to match coercion?But identify, i’d be website to agree with barry.Have there been times when this happened?Absolutely.

There has been very famous cases.The big rampart scandal in los angeles involved cops setting up gang members, realize they’d end up pleading guilty because they wouldn’t have a chance as a gang member going to trial.

Conan:Because deck would be stacked against them.

Prof.Levenson:Absolutely.But, you’re certain of, nobody, i had say, that i caused wanted that to happen.But there’s not a full proof method because we do have these very strong sentencing laws.And we occassionally have defendants whose lawyers will sort of say i don’t see anything better in it for you.But if they had a lawyer like barry sheck who would work hard they’d find a way to fight it at trial.

Conan:And that’s another flaw with the machine, don’t you think it’s, craig sheck?

Prof.Scheck:Ohio, that’s right.But article marketing key unaddressed problems, when i, is du to the issue of exculpatory evidence, because regardless of how fancy how good your lawyer is, if there’s exculpatory evidence that’s in you verify of the police or the prosecutors that’s not disclosed to the defense counsel, then the defense counsel can’t make a very good assessment of the case.