Vol. 118 No. 5

Criminal Law
Article

THE HIDDEN LAW OF PLEA BARGAINING

Andrew Manuel Crespo*

The American criminal justice system is a system of pleas. Few who know it well think it is working. And yet, identifying plausible strategies for law reform proves challenging, given the widely held scholarly assumption that plea bargaining operates “beyond the shadow of the law.” That assumption holds true with respect to substantive and constitutional criminal law—the two most studied bodies of law in the criminal justice system—neither[...]