You’ve been indicted and you know that you are innocent. Do you go to trial or do you take a plea? It’s a difficult decision and Preston Byrd, a real estate developer, was faced with this daunting dilemma back in 2015. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) published a report titled, The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It, that examines specific cases, data and statistics to explain the decline in the criminal trial and the steady rise in plea deals. “Over the last 50 years, defendants chose trial in less than three percent of state and federal criminal cases—compared to 30 years ago when 20 percent of those arrested chose trial” cites the report. Preston decided to go to trial. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and learn more about his case

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