A prosecutor will often charge a defendant with multiple similar different laws, which basically turns one crime into many crimes. Then the defendant faces the potential possibility of a long time in prison, even if the crime itself does not deserve anywhere near that amount of prison time. The defendant is scared, so agrees to enter into a plea bargain and plead guilty, with the understanding that the prosecutor will take it easier on them in the courtroom with the judge, or drop some of the charges. This is the main reason why such a small percentage of cases ever go to trial. Even many innocent people plead guilty. It's basically how the justice system operates. There are too many people and it would require too many resources and be too difficult to hold a trial for all of them. Here is one example of this: Boyd Allen Camp was one of the protesters who stormed the US capitol building. The only real evidence against Camp was him captured in a short segment on video being inside the capitol building, and a witness who said that he took part in the storming of the capitol building. So the evidence indicates he was unlawfully inside the capitol building but does not really show any specific conduct he otherwise did. Boyd Allen Camper was charged with: (1) one count of 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(1) (entering and remaining in a restricted building) (2) one count of 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(2) (disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building) (3) one count of 40 U.S.C. 5104(e)(2)(D) (violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building) (4) one count of 40 U.S.C. 5104(e)(2)(G) (parading, demonstrating or picketing in any of the Capitol Buildings.) Each law carries a maximum of one year in prison, so combined together they carry a maximum of four years in prison. Even though all four of these separate laws are basically being used against him for what was basically the same criminal action. 'We're Going to Take This Damn Place': Capitol Hill Insurrectionist Who Bragged to the Media is Charged With Multiple Crimes, Colin Kalmbacher, March 13, 2021, MSN News ‘We’re Going to Take This Damn Place’: Capitol Hill Insurrectionist Who Bragged to the Media is Charged With Multiple Crimes (msn.com) Obviously that was not the intent of these laws. But there are an endless number of laws on the books, and very often many of them can be used to cover the same criminal action. Judges usually take this into account, but the point is, there is the potential for a defendant to be sentenced to a very long time in prison for something that was not really that bad, and it would be perfectly legal under the law. The thing is, multiple different laws are coming together in ways that the politicians who passed those laws never anticipated. These laws are supposed to have a statutory maximum - like if you break it, the judge can't sentence you to more than a certain amount of time. But the tactic of charge stacking completely bypasses that statutory minimum built into each law. It then becomes all up to the discretion of the judge, and the sentencing restrictions that were built into the (individual) laws no longer really operate to protect the defendant (or at least they will not if the judge does not want them to).