One of the drawbacks of our republic is that laws are made and rarely rescinded. Despite the concerns that this congress has passed the least number of bills since 1947, we have already passed 61 new laws in 2013, compared with 638 in 1956. Now, how many laws get rescinded, or removed, from the lawbooks each year? Not many, that’s for sure.
One of the factors involved in the increase in criminal offenses was our practice of not going all the way to trial, that is, “plea bargaining.” This is where the prosecutor may offer a lesser conviction and sentence in exchange for a “guilty” admission, or a “no contest.” What has happened is that unhappy justice lobbies have pressed upon their representatives to create new laws so that “plea bargaining” is less effective to the accused, because for a simple assault there could be half a dozen charges and even a liberal plea bargain could result in a lengthy jail sentence.
There needs to be a simple mechanism to undo legislated laws, or to time them out for future review. Plea bargains should not be allowed any longer and all charges should go to jury trial. This will encumber our courts so much that legislators will be forced to undo “bad” laws, like 422 p.c., a law against “threatening” someone when the threat actually results in an assault and battery. This is just a law to circumvent the plea-bargain process, adding another misdemeanor to the charges which would have normally been “assault and battery.”
More on this later, but you get my drift – it’s patently unfair for the State or Federal legislature to pass laws circumventing a process that justice advocates themselves initiated more than 50 years ago, and there needs to be a simple, efficient process to "undo" bad lawmaking as we move forward.