Michelle Alexander has an Op-Ed in the New York Times, asking the questions: “What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?”
Well, of course we could. But here's the thing: In many cases, you couldn't even convince co-defendants to refuse a plea and go trial — and wouldn't want to. (Has Alexander ever heard of the Prisoner's dilemma?)
So good luck with that.
Next week, the Times will feature Peter Singer on "What would happen if we gave everyone a pony?"
UPDATE: more on the daft impracticability of Alexander's idea at a public defender.