t is the centerpiece of America's judicial process: the right to a trial by jury system that places a defendant's fate in the hands of a jury of one's peers. But it may surprise many to learn that nearly 95 percent of all cases resulting in felony convictions never reach a jury. Instead, they are settled through plea bargains in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
"The real American justice system is unlike anything depicted on Law & Order and Court TV," says producer Ofra Bikel. "I know I was stunned when I realized that only about 5 percent of all felony convictions result from jury trials. The rest are settled by plea bargains. And these deals aren't always to the defendant's advantage."
"The Plea" tells several stories -- different people, different charges, different parts of the country, all with one thing in common: the difficult dilemma of confronting a plea. The program also interviews experts on the criminal justice system.........edit