The Vanishing Trial

Featuring Rachel Elise Barkow, Kevin Ring, Danny Markus, & Clark Neily

Over the past several decades, America’s criminal justice system has moved dangerously close to a “point and convict” process of adjudication as trials have been all but replaced by plea bargaining. As a result, 95 percent of all criminal convictions today are obtained not through constitutionally prescribed public jury trials but through an often astonishingly coercive process of inducing defendants to forego their right to a trial and simply condemn themselves instead.

Directed and produced by Emmy‐​nominated Wynette Yao, The Vanishing Trial follows four individuals forced to make the excruciating choice of either pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit in exchange for a shorter sentence or going to trial and risking decades behind bars. Throughout the film, we hear from leading experts about how this so‐​called trial penalty has effectively abrogated one of our most hallowed constitutional rights and helped fuel mass incarceration.

This online event will feature a panel discussion followed by a question‐​and‐​answer session with the audience. Participants are encouraged to watch The Vanishing Trial before the panel discussion and will receive a link and password upon registering for the event so they can watch the 40‐​minute film online.