Concerns raised about excessive plea bargains

For many people in Georgia accused of a crime, a plea bargain may seem an almost inevitable way to resolve the charges. After all, a full 97% of federal criminal convictions are garnered through the use of agreed-upon guilty pleas, rather than a conviction in court. The same is true of 94% of state criminal convictions. In 2018 alone, federal prosecutors initiated 80,000 cases, and only 2% went to trial. These numbers may come as a surprise; after all, it would seem that many people have a better chance to argue their cases before a jury of their peers where prosecutors are forced to prove allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

While some people may agree to plea bargains because they are clearly guilty, it is also clear that innocent people have pleaded guilty in response to prosecutor coercion and a stacked deck against them. There are a number of practices that are seemingly accepted as legal yet undermine confidence in an impartial justice system. People who do not agree to a plea bargain may face far harsher sentencing if convicted in court. In addition, prosecutors may threaten to impose even harsher charges against defendants refusing to take a plea. Other people may be pressured with pretrial detention, unaffordable bail, or threats to investigate friends and family.

Since 1989, at least 11% of DNA-related exonerations have involved defendants who pleaded guilty to crimes that they did not commit. Some sources place this figure at 20%. In addition, plea bargains also cover up prosecutorial and police abuse and misconduct that would otherwise come to light in open court.

People who are facing criminal charges may also encounter a number of techniques designed to ensure a guilty plea. A criminal defense lawyer can work with defendants to challenge prosecution narratives and protect their rights.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Are Ready To Hear From You

Email Us For A Response

Let’s Find A Solution Together

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Cumming Office
202 Tribble Gap Road Suite 200
Cumming, GA 30040

Phone: 770-744-1111
Fax: 770-781-9191
Cumming Law Office Map

Roswell Office
38 Sloan St
Roswell, Georgia 30075

Phone: 770-744-1111
Fax: 770-781-9191
Roswell Law Office Map


By Appointment Only
Call Our 24/7 Criminal Defense line: 678-343-8075