Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System
Join Judge Jed S. Rakoff, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, for a discussion of his newly released book, “Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System.” The highly anticipated book explores some of the paradoxes that define the judiciary today, including why innocent people plead guilty, why high-level executives aren’t prosecuted, why people don’t get their day in court, and why the judiciary is curtailing its own constitutionally mandated power.
Through the book, Judge Rakoff illuminates some of our most urgent legal, social, and political issues: the evil of mass incarceration, plea deals and class-action lawsuits, corporate impunity and the death penalty, the perils of eyewitness testimony and forensic science, the war on terror, and the expanding reach of the executive branch. Like few others, Judge Rakoff understands the values that animate the best aspects of our legal system―and has a close-up view of our failure to live up to these ideals.
This discussion will include opening remarks from Garry W. Jenkins, Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law. There will be time for audience Q&A.
Our moderator will be Francis X. Shen, a Professor of Law, McKnight Presidential Fellow, and Faculty Member in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. He joined the faculty in 2012, and also serves as Executive Director of the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.
Shen’s scholarship focuses on empirical and interdisciplinary research at the intersection of law and the brain sciences. He is co-author of the first Law & Neuroscience casebook, and in 2021 received the ALI Early Career Scholars Medal for being “a pioneer in establishing the interdisciplinary field of law and neuroscience.” His additional research and teaching areas of focus are neuroethics and artificial intelligence.