This is an interesting situation. Where the size and staffing of the courts have been shrinking over the years, the number of men, women and children being sent to prison is growing.
A good question is what if everyone refused a plea bargain. The courts would have to go to overtime as about 90 percent of those that go to prison, go as a result of plea bargains. That would add some 30,000 plus criminal cases each year to the courts in Florida alone. Don’t know that the courts in Florida could handle the overload.
“…While dockets are bulging with foreclosures and other pressing legal matters, 42 states have reduced their judicial budgets in the previous three fiscal years, with cuts in some jurisdictions totaling more than 12 percent. In the last three years, 34 states have laid off court employees, 39 have stopped filling clerk vacancies and 23 have reduced court operating hours, according to the National Center for State Courts.
State courts hear 95 percent of the nation’s legal cases, so the cuts are affecting the level where most people encounter the justice system, said Rebecca Love Kourlis, a former Colorado Supreme Court justice who is executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver and co-author of a new book about the plight of the nation’s civil courts….”