5 Am. J. Crim. L. 215 (1977)
American Merchandising and the Guilty Plea: Replacing the Bazaar with the Department Store

handle is hein.journals/ajcl5 and id is 225 raw text is: Observation

American Merchandising and
The Guilty Plea: Replacing
The Bazaar With The
Department Storet
John Kaplan*
My talk is scheduled as a critical look at the crim-
inal justice system. Criticizing the criminal justice sys-
tem  is really too easy. Frankly, it is a sitting duck.
The police, the prosecutors, the courts, the prisons, pro-
bation and parole-they are really too easy as targets. In
fact all of these defects are in great part a consequence of
the shoddy materials that we are forced to build a society
with as human beings. On the other hand, consider
some of the other institutions in our society: medical
care, mental health, welfare, and education. Can we say
that any of these institutions is in better shape than our
criminal justice system, or, if it is in better shape, is it in
much better shape? Of course, all these institutions
could be greatly improved if we only had better people,
more resources, more knowledge, and easier problems.
t- This Observation is the revised text of the keynote address
delivered at the opening session of the conference, Punishment:
Perspectives in a Civilized Society. The conference met January
17-20, 1977, on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
* Professor of Law, Stanford University. A.B. 1951, LL.B.
1954, Harvard University.

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