Sunday, December 22, 2013

Due Process - Let's Make a Deal: The Plea Bargain (Aired 12/9/12)

Due process
Video Description:
You're charged with a crime and have the right to face your accusers at trial, to be judged by a jury of your peers. Then why do fewer than 3% of defendants ever get that far?

On this edition of Due Process, we explore the phenomenon of the plea deal, beginning with a look inside Judge Martin Cronin's Essex County courtroom, where, two days a week, one guilty plea after another is entered in return for a reduced sentence. Is it fear? Is it coercion? Why do so few choose to take their chance at trial? And could some of them be innocent?

In the opening field piece, we listen in on a plea bargain conference between the Morris County Prosecutor, Bob Bianchi and his staff, while, in Essex, we watch the plea process unfold and talk to Assignment Judge Patricia Costello.

In the studio, we get starkly opposing views on plea deals from former First Assistant Attorney General for New Jersey John Vazquez and the ACLU's Alex Shalom.


Mark said...

And to think, the "experts" battle it out while a person's life is at stake. As Allen Dershowitz once stated, the experts in court is like a "TWO EDGED SWORD." And as SOissues has aptly stated above, it truly, truly is about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. The experts do not even get their hands dirty, but after testifying, they wash them anyway to absolve themselves of their testimonies to be sure.

Eli Lya said...

Plea bargains are a great source of false convictions. An accused person can agree to plea bargain to a lesser charge out of fear, not out of guilt. How often does it happen, certainly far more than the government wants people to know.

This is backed by an extreme vindictiveness by the government towards anyone found guilty that continues to say they were innocent.

Plea bargains should be made illegal.

Mark said...

Imbedded right in this article is the most well kept MEDIA, police, District Attorney, U.S. Attorney General, state and federal law makers SECRET: "modern sex offender registries
are similarly ineffective at reducing crime. Sex offender registries are
costly, vastly over broad, and error-ridden." Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone because you may get shot, ridiculed, laughed at, picked on, threatened by the state, or the police, or federal government, NOT TO MENTION GOOD MORAL NEIGHBORS ad nausea.