Response to Anne Traum, Using Outcomes to Reframe Guilty Plea Adjudication
The principles that justify our imposition of punishment in public jury trials rapidly disintegrate in the informal, private realm of plea agreements. But what is the best way to regulate a system that does most of its adjudication behind closed doors? In her article, Using Outcomes to Reframe Guilty Plea Adjudication, Professor Anne Traum argues that trial courts should take on the task of regulating guilty pleas by monitoring plea outcomes. But what Professor Traum never quite resolves is the always-tricky problem of motivating courts to do such self-correction. In other words, having trial courts regulate guilty pleas by monitoring plea bargains offers some hope for procedural equity, but ultimately does not go far enough.