It’s simple. Declaring someone to be a criminal is not cheap or easy for the state. That IS AS IT SHOULD BE. Of course the system gets gamed, of course people try to get away with naughtiness, but the important thing is that an innocent man evven one accused of a “minor” crime, like shop-lifting gets the protection of a Jury trial, if necessary.
It’s not “just” a shop-lifiting conviction, because a shop-lifting conviction affects a life. You wouldn’t get the best university, you’re denied some vocational courses. You certainly couldn’t do what I do for a living with a “crime of moral turpitude” on your rap sheet. People are still pretty relaxed about narcotic possession and Drunk & Disorderly but for how long?
I’ve no problem with rewards for early guilty pleas, most people that get to magistrates are guilty, and if the process can be expidited more easily then great. But innocent people HAVE to have the opportunity to clear their names in front of a Jury. The “Victim’s Comissioner” is plain wrong. Jury trials are and should remain an absolute right, whatever the cost.