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Would you plead guilty? Share your story with the Trading Away Justice reporting project

You’ve been arrested and you have a choice: Take your chances in court, or plead guilty and go home with time served and a criminal record? Which do you choose?

Trading Away Justice is a national reporting project on plea bargaining that’s a collaboration of professional and student journalists from news organizations and universities.

The project documents cases in which innocent people pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit to build a database of their stories to identify the leading causes and consequences of this phenomenon.

Visit Trading Away Justice’s two homes online at CNSMaryland.org and InjusticeWatch.org.

At both sites, you can explore an interactive experience that gives you a choice: Will you take the plea, or take your chances?

Also, if you have a story about an experience with the criminal justice system that you want to share with the journalists in the project, you can tell them your story.

Tune in Wednesday on the PBS NewsHour, when John Yang reports about why defendants take deals to avoid risking more serious charges and penalties, in a story produced by students at the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service, in collaboration with Injustice Watch of Chicago.