When Is a Plea Agreement an Acceptable Solution

In fact, the only trial restriction imposed on prosecutors is that they cannot use illegal threats to obtain a plea. “So if a prosecutor says, `I`m going to shoot you if you don`t plead guilty,` then the plea is invalid,” Alschuler said. “But if he threatens to charge someone with a crime that can be punished with death in court, and the accused pleads guilty, then the plea is legal.” Assuming they have a probable reason, prosecutors may even threaten to lay charges against an accused`s family in order to entice a plea. For example, if a defendant`s spouse or sibling is involved in drug trafficking — they may have taken an appeal related to the case — a prosecutor may offer to reduce or dismiss the charge against the family member if the defendant pleads guilty. What are some of the standard conditions in a guilty plea in Nevada? As soon as an accused agrees to plead guilty, the prosecutor gives him a written agreement to discuss it with his lawyer. The agreement contains the agreed special conditions, but also a number of standard conditions. If the defendant or the prosecutor does not meet all the conditions, the agreement may be withdrawn by the defendant or a more severe penalty may be requested by the prosecutor. The responsibility for conducting a meaningful conversation with the defendant rightly rests with the judge. This requires “an ongoing effort on the part of the trial judges, with the help of the defense lawyer, to direct their questions so that they become a true investigation of the mind of the accused. This should not be a “litany”, but a live assessment of whether the plea has been sufficiently meditated on by the defendant under the guidance of a defence lawyer and whether it is not withdrawn from the defendant under undue pressure. Commonwealth vs Fernandes, 390 Mass. 714, 716 (1984) citing Commonwealth v. Foster, 368 Mass.

100, 107 (1975) (emphasis added). The colloquium should include an investigation into the mental illnesses that the defendant may suffer from and whether the defendant is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. See Commonwealth v. Correa, 43 Mass. App. Ct. 714, 717-718 (1997). If the defendant has entered a plea or confession under subsection (c)(2)(A) or (c)(2)(B), the judge may not impose a more severe penalty than that on which the defendant`s act is based. Judges should pay particular attention to injunctions that include probation conditions or a conditional sentence to ensure that they are consistent with the accused`s legitimate sentencing behaviour. See e.B. Commonwealth v.

Glines, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 95 (1996) (when the District Judge imposed a conditional sentence with a five-year suspended sentence, it was more severe than the accused`s request for probation with 2 and a half years of probation); Commonwealth vs Barber, 37 Mass. 599 (1994) (Where the prosecutor recommended, under an agreement, that the defendant receive a prison sentence of 12 to 15 years at the same time as the other sentences the defendant received, and the judge imposed a conditional sentence of 12 to 15 years, which was based on the other sentences that the defendant received and placed the defendant on probation for two years, the judge exceeded the conditions of the prosecutor`s recommendation). Plea Bargaining`s hidden law, of course, did not write itself, which raises a final question that goes to the heart of Plea Bargaining`s underlying political economy: who are the institutional actors – the legislators – most likely to facilitate or thwart reforms in this area, and what might be their motivations? Offering a guilty plea by a defendant is an important step in the criminal process. This is a decision of the defendant not to put the Commonwealth to the test, to prove his guilt beyond any doubt. Plea hearings naturally result from the “reciprocity of advantage” for defendants and prosecutors, each with their own reasons for seeking to avoid a trial, Bordenkircher v. Hayes, 434 U.S. 357, 363 (1978), but the Commonwealth and the public have an interest in promoting fairness by ensuring that any plea accurately reflects guilt and fairly terminates the criminal proceedings against a defendant. Article 12 aims to promote the achievement of these objectives.

(c) (5) (C). If the plea or confession is accepted, the judge proceeds with the conviction as after a verdict or a mass guilty verdict. . . .