American Buffalo: Vanishing Acquittals and the Gradual Extinction of the Federal Criminal Trial Lawyer

This response picks up on one of Professor Wright’s key findings: “the curious fact that the rate of acquittals in federal criminal cases has declined even faster than the rate of guilty pleas has increased.” Professor Bowman goes on to suggest that “acquittals may be vanishing in part because a once-common courtroom denizen—the true trial lawyer—is becoming an endangered species,” and worries that the system has created “ever-greater disincentives to trying the kind of cases in which acquittal is a live possibility.”

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