Court: Lawyers Must Adequately Help On Plea Deals

This could become a nightmare for the courts as it will undoubtedly be a rich source of appeals for both those in prison as well as those that have been sent to prison and released. Don’t know how it will play out in class law suits but sitting on the sidelines will be fascenating.
“…Plea bargain negotiations between criminals and prosecutors will now come under constitutional scrutiny because a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that convictions can be overturned if defense lawyers don’t adequately assist clients in deciding whether to accept such offers….”

However, what is scary is the sheer scope of such plea bargains. “…The two majority opinions, both written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, have potentially broad impact because 97 percent of federal convictions and 94 percent of state convictions in 2009 were obtained by a guilty plea, according to the Justice Department….” So much for innocence till proven guilty.

My sense is that if the courts ever attack the mandatory minimums the jurisprudence as is practiced today will be stood on its head and the courts will be flooded by trials because the basis of bargaining which is charge high and deal low is the foundation of plea bargaining.

Court: Lawyers Must Adequately Help On Plea Deals

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One Response to Court: Lawyers Must Adequately Help On Plea Deals

  1. themtchelle says:

    I for one, and many others whom I met while incarcerated, was instructed, not offered mind you, but instructed on the day of court to take a plea. Each time I got in trouble, I was left to wait in jail for long periods of time before getting my day in front of a judge, sometimes many months of postponements because either the judge or one of the lawyers was on vacation. At that point of course, I had been through so much in jail and was pliable, scared, tired, hungry and very cold, and simply willing to do anything to get it over with. When you are cold and hungry, your decision making will be out of desperation and not well thought out. My public “defender” (THAT’S not an accurate term for what these people do) never visited me and almost never spoke to me on the phone when I spent hours dialing and re-dialing from jail just to get ANY info that might help me. I met my “defender” while in the holding cell just minutes before going in front of the judge. The “defender” would blow through a bunch of info very quickly and tell me I needed to make a decision right then, or go to trial. They always tell you that you don’t want to go to trial because if you loose you will get some extreme amount of time because you wasted the taxpayer’s money and the judges time. It’s BULLYING a beat down person, and throwing away their rights because as addicts we are expendable as free people, and profitable as inmates.

    It seems too good to be true that it could be possible to go back to my cases and review what really happened. These public defenders are getting paid all right, but what are they really doing for their clients? They make no effort on our behalf, they just heard us through the process as quickly as they can with as little effort as they can get away with. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it, as it’s almost just as criminal to do this as anything I have EVER done. Bear in mind, I never hurt anyone with my “crimes” but myself. These P.D.’s are forever ruining lives by letting addicts accept plea bargains that will keep them from ever being able to get the life they may want once they are clean.

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