The Plea Bargain Originated as a Means to Undermine Working-Class Solidarity

The U.S. criminal legal system is terrible by so many metrics: We lock up more people than anywhere else in the world, our penalties tend to be harsher, our arrest rates are many times higher than other democracies, and so on. Plea bargaining is not often at the top of the list when we think of all harm done by the system, but the U.S. is an outlier in this area as well. More than 95 percent of all American criminal cases end in a guilty plea, mostly due to bargained agreements, making our plea-deal rate much higher than that…

Biden Met With Historians Last Week to Discuss Anti-Democracy Trends

Last week, President Joe Biden met privately with a number of historians to discuss the ongoing erosion of democratic norms and values in the U.S. The Washington Post characterized the August 4 meeting between Biden and the historians as a “Socratic dialogue.” The historians included journalist Anne Applebaum, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, University of Virginia historian Allida Black, and presidential historian Michael Beschloss, among others. “A lot of the conversation was about the larger context of the contest between democratic values and institutions and the trends toward autocracy globally,” one person familiar with the discussion said. Because Biden had COVID-19…

Florida Bill Would Ban History Lessons That Cause White Students “Discomfort”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is pushing for the passage of a bill that would forbid public school teachers from teaching information that could cause students to feel “discomfort,” in yet another GOP attempt to censor lessons about the history of racism in the U.S. The bill would also apply to companies that require their employees to receive training on combatting racism and discrimination in the workplace. “An individual should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race,” reads Senate Bill 148, which was approved by…

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