Plea Bargain

Comfort & Challenge

1472996838351.jpgToday’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 103; 150, Job 25:1-6, Job 27:1-6, Revelation 14:1-7, 13, Matthew 5:13-20


Plea bargaining is a common but controversial practice. On one hand, it increases efficiency in an overburdened criminal justice system, and results in convictions that otherwise might not happen. On the other, many people believe plea bargaining results in unfair sentencing, an erosion of constitutional rights, and coerced confessions of (sometimes innocent) people who are too frightened and/or poor to demand a fair trial with adequate representation. Plea bargaining is a balance between getting things done, and getting things right. It forces us to ask whether an increased conviction rate is worth a decrease in fairness – or the right measure at all.

Job’s friend Bildad wanted him to plea bargain with God. Essentially he said: “Everybody’s guilty of something. Just admit your wrongdoing and this will all go away.” Job, rightly…

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