Chief Judge Ed Carnes starts an opinion about plea bargaining this way, comparing the process to tattoos:
In negotiating a plea bargain both sides aim for the best terms they can get, placing bets on what the future will hold. The problem is that the future and certainty are strangers and not everyone wins a wager. Sometimes a deal, like a tattoo, does not age well and what appeared to be attractive in the past seems unattractive in the future. But plea agreements, like most tattoos, are written in permanent ink and cannot be redrawn just because one party suffers from the plea bargain form of buyer’s remorse. This case is here because two defendants convinced the district court, over the government’s objections, to take up the judicial pen and redraw their freely entered plea agreements whose ink had been dry for nearly a decade.