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  #76  
Old 01-18-2017, 01:59 PM
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Really volatile topic. I will just share a thought or two kind of related. I had the experience of being picked for jury duty for a 2 count felony trial not so long ago.
The defendant was represented by a public defender.

Without going into details, the case presented by the state prosecutor was pretty shabby. I was not the least bit convinced he did his job of presenting sufficient evidence or witnesses to get me to vote for conviction.

However, the presentation by the public defender was even worse. All she did was make objections and have the jury running in and out all day. She even put the defendant on the stand and walked this guy right into a conviction. Most of us on the jury agreed that we probable would have voted for the reduced charge or acquitted had it not been for the defense attorney.

So, there you go...... could be a point that many innocent people plead out because their expediency is more important to supposed defenders than justice.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:46 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tried&True View Post
Really volatile topic. I will just share a thought or two kind of related. I had the experience of being picked for jury duty for a 2 count felony trial not so long ago.
The defendant was represented by a public defender.

Without going into details, the case presented by the state prosecutor was pretty shabby. I was not the least bit convinced he did his job of presenting sufficient evidence or witnesses to get me to vote for conviction.

However, the presentation by the public defender was even worse. All she did was make objections and have the jury running in and out all day. She even put the defendant on the stand and walked this guy right into a conviction. Most of us on the jury agreed that we probable would have voted for the reduced charge or acquitted had it not been for the defense attorney.

So, there you go...... could be a point that many innocent people plead out because their expediency is more important to supposed defenders than justice.

From what you describe, the jury panel you were a member of chose to ignore the instructions given to you by the judge. Either the State proved its case to the burden necessary to support the conviction or it didn't. From what you describe, they failed to meet the legal standard yet you STILL chose to convict.

And as a clue, objections are a necessary part of the process. Good attorneys make them to preserve issues for appeal since an issue not properly preserved has been punted for the purposes of direct appeal. It also creates a very uphill battle in the writ alleging ineffective assistance since the Court presumes a strategy existed in the failure to object.
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  #78  
Old 01-19-2017, 08:46 AM
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I was on a jury once too.
They charged the defendant with 3 or 4 different levels of attempted murder. (cant remember now)
We ended up hung on the most serious charge and didnt get to deliberate the second charge, which I feel *fit* the crime.

I felt awful for everyone, even the defendant. Even tho we would have probably come to a consensus on the second lesser charge.
She ended up pleading to that charge.
I forget how much time she got but she has passed away now. (I looked it up a few yrs ago to see)
The whole thing was horrible.
Hope I never had to do jury duty again. The trial I was on was well before the legal troubles my hub had. Im pretty sure Im rather tainted now, and wouldnt be chosen for a juror.
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  #79  
Old 01-19-2017, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
From what you describe, the jury panel you were a member of chose to ignore the instructions given to you by the judge. Either the State proved its case to the burden necessary to support the conviction or it didn't. From what you describe, they failed to meet the legal standard yet you STILL chose to convict.
You read what he says different than I do or you have more faith in the process than I do. I read a prosecutor did a poor job and a PD did an even worse job and I am not surprised the jury convicted due to poor job by PD. You see the lawyers doing a good job and the jury at fault pointing to possibility they didn't listen well enough to instructions? I don't know or at least, as I say, I don't share your level of confidence in the whole process.
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:05 AM
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>She even put the defendant on the stand and walked this guy right into a conviction

The way I read this was colored by my wife's jury duty where they convicted based on the defendant's testimony. He might have been acquitted if he hadn't taken the stand and proceeded to be his own worst enemy.

So it's possible that Tried&True is blaming the defense attorney for leaving enough material on the floor for "beyond a reasonable doubt".
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  #81  
Old 01-19-2017, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
From what you describe, the jury panel you were a member of chose to ignore the instructions given to you by the judge. Either the State proved its case to the burden necessary to support the conviction or it didn't. From what you describe, they failed to meet the legal standard yet you STILL chose to convict.

And as a clue, objections are a necessary part of the process. Good attorneys make them to preserve issues for appeal since an issue not properly preserved has been punted for the purposes of direct appeal. It also creates a very uphill battle in the writ alleging ineffective assistance since the Court presumes a strategy existed in the failure to object.
Obviously I did not go into specifics, it was BECAUSE of instructions from the judge that the panel had to decide as we did. The damage the 'defense' did reinforced the prosecution's case...and failed to create reasonable doubt.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
>She even put the defendant on the stand and walked this guy right into a conviction

The way I read this was colored by my wife's jury duty where they convicted based on the defendant's testimony. He might have been acquitted if he hadn't taken the stand and proceeded to be his own worst enemy.

So it's possible that Tried&True is blaming the defense attorney for leaving enough material on the floor for "beyond a reasonable doubt".
Thanks Minor. My point was that either because of burdensome case load or lack of dedication, the PD, (I felt) did not properly prepare and the defendant did not get the best possible representation. I saw several opportunities for the PD plant significant doubt because the prosecution case was very weak and it was very obvious that she did not go over testimony with the defendant prior to putting him on the stand. I could be overly critical because I finished first in my class in criminal law for paralegal degree studies.

But if what I saw is typical of the legal system, it does not surprise me that some people such little confidence that they may plead to lesser charges even though they are not guilty of what they are charged with.
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  #83  
Old 01-19-2017, 12:45 PM
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There are also all those anecdotes about public defenders who start by presenting or even demanding a plea deal before they study the case. I'll be delighted to learn that they are the exception, but every time that happens, everyone who knows the defendant is going to assume the worst if they face charges themselves.
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  #84  
Old 01-19-2017, 08:54 PM
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My take is that T&T seemed to feel the objections were improper because of the inconvenience of a jury having to be removed. The reality is that objections are a necessary part of proper representation in some instances and there are some objections that require argument by counsel outside of the presence of a jury so as not to prejudice the jury with issues outside the scope of what they can consider.

As to putting the defendant on the stand...some defendants DEMAND to testify. Counsel really has no choice but to acquiesce lest they want to deal with the inevitable Bar complaint that follows a conviction in such cases.

If the State fails to provide the bare minimum to meet their burden, then the jury acquits if they pay attention to the legal instruction provided by the Court. It IS that simple. And when juries fail to do so, it offers yet more reasons why some choose to plead...they don't want their life in the hands of 12 people who could not get excused from the Panel.
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  #85  
Old 01-24-2017, 07:13 PM
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One answer to the question "why" is that nobody knows for sure. Here's something from a group publicizing the problem of false guilty please.
Quote:
No one knows how often[innocent people plead guilty]. Nearly 11% of the nation’s 349 DNA exonerations involve people who pleaded guilty to serious crimes they didn’t commit, and the National Registry of Exonerations has identified 345 cases of innocent people who pleaded guilty. When that many innocent people are agreeing to their own wrongful convictions, it is time to recognize that something is very wrong. The plea system is not a bargain, it’s a problem--at least for the innocent.
From guiltypleaproblem.org, which promises more work on the subject in the future.
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  #86  
Old 01-27-2017, 04:35 AM
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I've found this link http://guiltypleaproblem.org
today on the Facebook page of NC Cure.
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  #87  
Old 02-05-2017, 11:42 AM
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THIS is why innocent people plea guilty:

Quote:
Watch former Atlanta Falcons player Brian Banks share his #GuiltyPleaProblem story: http://guiltypleaproblem.org/#banks

Brian Banks was exonerated after his accuser contacted him on Facebook and admitted she had fabricated the entire story against him. He spent 5 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and was exonerated in 2012 with the help of the California Innocence Project.

http://guiltypleaproblem.org/#banks
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  #88  
Old 02-05-2017, 03:08 PM
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Interesting debate. Here's a perspective from the Canadian system:
- 98% of cases don't go to trial. If everyone went to trial the entire system would collapse, since it already takes 1-2 years to get trial dates, longer if it's a complicated case. Yes, sometimes defendants defer for various reasons, but often it's the prosecution. In my case we didn't even get disclosure of evidence from the prosecution for 6 months, even though they had all the evidence on the day I was arrested. Then there were endless postponements by the Crown, not by my lawyers.
- Virtually nobody can afford a full criminal defense by a good lawyer, which will almost always run into 6 figures, and often a lot more than that.
- The Crown (prosecution) controls the charges; they often add many extra so you feel good about pleading guilty only to a few. They also control indictment vs summary conviction, which has a dramatic effect on sentences.
- As others have said about the US, prosecutors here also threaten you with a much harsher sentence if you go to trail - and it's not just a threat. You WILL get more time being found guilty than pleading guilty.
- Police and prosecutors can do a lot to screw you in many ways; that's why there are so many wrongful conviction case. Even though our laws say prosecutors are supposed to be concerned with getting a fair result, most of them, according to my lawyers, are in it to win and often want the harshest sentence they can get.
- In a plea bargain you often have to consent to 'facts' that aren't accurate in order to get the deal at all. This happened to many people I know. Your lawyer will tell you (even though they are officially prohibited from letting you plead guilty to something you maintain you did not do) that you may as well since these 'alternative facts' - glad to have that phrase now! - won't really affect your sentence. Except they can affect your placement in jail and your parole....
In my case I actually had a reasonable prospect of beating the charges, but when my wife and I considered the extra year or two it would take - plus a potential appeal by the Crown if I won, the extra $ (well into 6 figures more), the hurt to my family, more uncertainty, and the good chance of a much worse sentence if I lost, I elected to plead guilty. (As a further important point, the line between guilt and innocence is not always a clear one, nor is it always clear which criminal statute to apply to a particular incident.)
I'm not completely one-sided here. Our legal system is still in many ways a great thing. Compare it to most other places and most other times in history.... But there are lots of ways it could be improved and because it involves human beings there will always be mistakes, some of which have pretty terrible consequences.
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  #89  
Old 02-06-2017, 11:00 PM
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Innocent people take deals because of the fear of trial. My son chose not to take a deal because of the worst charge against him, not being true and he wanted the truth known. Guess what? It didn't matter. Prosecutor's have money for experts where as the public defenders are afraid to ask the state to pay for experts. Td Jakes had a show today about this same topic. In my sons case, the victim told the jurors my son didnt cause the injury. The prosecutor's expert witness even said, he couldn't be sure in his testimony. But since he already released statements to the media, I'm sure he had to cover his butt. The injury was horrible. Someone had to pay. Everyone needs to view this episode. "It is usually the poor and minorities who suffer through the justice sysyem because there's already a preconceived notion about them".
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  #90  
Old 02-07-2017, 12:12 PM
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I agree with all you said. Until justice is truly blind, there will be so many incarcerated that should have had other options.
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  #91  
Old 04-03-2017, 09:52 PM
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Anybody who gets entangled with a law enforcement officer willing to perjure himself is in a horrible situation.

One woman in Kentucky found herself dealing with a detective who told her that if she took her case to trial he would make sure she got executed. Properly speaking only the prosecutor should have made that threat, if anyone. Her court appointed attorney did tell her as a matter of legal advice that it was certain.

So of course she took a plea deal.

She's free now that the actual murderer confessed.

I tried to paste some excerpts from an appellate court ruling at http://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opin...7a0070p-06.pdf but strange and terrible things happened.

Now, I completely understand the point that yourself made in another thread, that every innocent person who pleads guilty is committing perjury and isn't up to yourself's standards of trustworthiness. I cannot condemn Ms. King as much as yourself would. Pleading not guilty would have been rare heroism, not expectable honesty.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:00 PM
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I agree with all you said. Until justice is truly blind, there will be so many incarcerated that should have had other options.
Very True. I am currently going through the process. They arrested me 6 months before the statue of limitations was up. There hasn't been a lot of additional data uncovered over the past 4.5 years but the US Attorney didn't even bother to send me a letter to try to negotiate a plea deal but they arrested me on 13 different counts. Now they are willing to plea down to one count and even though I am innocent of the charges I am risking being found guilty of all 13 charges. So do I take 37 months in camp or risk going to trial to prove my innocence and get the book thrown at me if we can't?

It is very sad that our criminal justice system has come down to this.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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Very True. I am currently going through the process. They arrested me 6 months before the statue of limitations was up. There hasn't been a lot of additional data uncovered over the past 4.5 years but the US Attorney didn't even bother to send me a letter to try to negotiate a plea deal but they arrested me on 13 different counts. Now they are willing to plea down to one count and even though I am innocent of the charges I am risking being found guilty of all 13 charges. So do I take 37 months in camp or risk going to trial to prove my innocence and get the book thrown at me if we can't?

It is very sad that our criminal justice system has come down to this.
What a terrible choice to have to make. I know because we went through it. My son took the deal thinking that if he only had to serve a short time in a camp, he could go back to work & regain his life. WRONG. He is now labeled as if he served his whole sentence, his job decided the stain would be too much for them to deal with & all of his friends & neighbors avoided him like the plague. He says he should have gone to trial & even if he had a longer sentence at least he could have said he wasn't what they alleged. Instead, by taking the deal, he basically had to agree that he was what they accused him of. So it's a no win situation.

I guess it depends on where you are going to trial. Is it a place that has a "win at all costs" attitude? Can you get expert witnesses to show that you didn't do it or at least create doubt? Is your lawyer experienced in this type of crime? The fact that the prosecutor is dropping all but 1 charge could mean they don't think they could prove all counts but how strong is the one they won't drop? I don't know your charge but there are advocate groups for different crimes & in different areas that may help you with insight. I know now that my son had no chance of winning in the county where he was charged.

Good luck & I hope you can make the decision that you can live with. Whatever you decide, don't look back & 2nd guess it. It will eat you alive.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:34 PM
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It is a gut wrenching choice. It is a white collar crime and looking over Discovery made me sick to my stomach. There is more evidence to show I did it (my work account tied to the transactions primarily, bank accounts opened under my name, etc) than evidence to prove otherwise.

My Attorney is a former US Attorney and informed me I got the strictest judge in one of the most conservative federal circuits. He is advising me against going to trial because, as he stated, I would be doubling down on my innocence and rolling the dice with the jury.

Even though most of the money was recuperated, there is about $220,000. So not only I am going to be in prison and lose my credibility with any future employers, I also am facing getting my assets seized (home, 401k, car) to pay for restitution. To add insult to injury, if these don't cover the balance I will be stuck the balance of the bill.

So yes, justice may be blind, but our criminal system is very skewed against anyone accused (guilty or not).
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:39 PM
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It is a gut wrenching choice. It is a white collar crime and looking over Discovery made me sick to my stomach. There is more evidence to show I did it (my work account tied to the transactions primarily, bank accounts opened under my name, etc) than evidence to prove otherwise.

My Attorney is a former US Attorney and informed me I got the strictest judge in one of the most conservative federal circuits. He is advising me against going to trial because, as he stated, I would be doubling down on my innocence and rolling the dice with the jury.

Even though most of the money was recuperated, there is about $220,000. So not only I am going to be in prison and lose my credibility with any future employers, I also am facing getting my assets seized (home, 401k, car) to pay for restitution. To add insult to injury, if these don't cover the balance I will be stuck the balance of the bill.

So yes, justice may be blind, but our criminal system is very skewed against anyone accused (guilty or not).
Man, it's a bad situation. I would have to say that your attorney sounds like he's experienced & having the "wrong" judge for your case doesn't help. I'm sure he's negotiated every way he could to get you in the best possible situation.

Hopefully, you can get early release & not serve the whole 37 months. If you're eligible, do everything you can to earn points towards early release. There are a number of groups that are working to help with re-entry so you may be able to find one that will work with you to help you get back on your feet when you're released. They have leads on housing & employment. Since it's not a violent or sex crime, your options are a bit broader than some people have.

I hope that you will stay strong through this. Just take every day as 1 at a time. I shared a quote with my son that applies to you as well. It's by the author of the Harry Potter books, J K Rowling.

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Old 04-13-2017, 07:08 AM
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Thank you for the kind words. It has not been easy as anyone who has ever faced this can attest. Right now the company is claiming a loss of 3X the actual amount on the plea so it's yet another punch to the gut.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:55 AM
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What force is being used?

In your opinion, should people be given the option of a guilty plea or should a trial be mandatory in all cases?
Force of pleading to a crime one didn't commit is more common then you think. It can be force of length of questioning, false statements of " we already know"and how much better the person will be to just admit it. Force when one has no money to pay for an attorney and the PD really is there as a stepping-stone job, getting his time in while he gets his CV's passed out.
Force as small as with-holding a glass of water during 8 hours of deep questioning, confusing the person and enticing them w/ what they want as long as they hear those words they were wanting to hear. The legal system isn't perfect, attorneys, policemen and judges go to prison everyday.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
From what you describe, the jury panel you were a member of chose to ignore the instructions given to you by the judge. Either the State proved its case to the burden necessary to support the conviction or it didn't. From what you describe, they failed to meet the legal standard yet you STILL chose to convict.

And as a clue, objections are a necessary part of the process. Good attorneys make them to preserve issues for appeal since an issue not properly preserved has been punted for the purposes of direct appeal. It also creates a very uphill battle in the writ alleging ineffective assistance since the Court presumes a strategy existed in the failure to object.

5th grade reading/comprehensive level is all that is required to be "cleared" to sit on a jury. How many of those people REALLY understand Judges instructions, or just go along w the majority? PLENTY. Watch the Netflix series based on the guy that lived down the street from me in WI- Making a Murderer. Then watch the REAL tapes of the nephew, Brenden Dassey's police interrogation. You'll see the " forced" guilt confession. Sans the reason every LAIP wanted to pick it up. ( and yes, and knowing Avery,I do believe he is guilty- but just watch the nephews actual interrogation.) Failure to object really depends on where you are sitting as well, never mind the presumptive strategy.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:47 AM
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I plead guilty for possession of firearms in China the law is very strict. I fought it with the court but my lawyer said if I plead guilty he can guarantee I can receive a suspended sentence because it is not a real gun. If I continue to fight and appeal I need to be detained in the jail until the case is solve, in China prison conditions are very bad and I do not want to stay there any longer. I have already spend 4 months in custody before I see a courtroom.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:55 PM
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some counties are just crooked as hell.
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