Why plea bargains aren't true justice

As there are a large volume of criminal cases in Rhode Island and across the country, plea bargains are seen as a way of easing a judicial burden. However, a plea bargain may mean that someone who could be innocent is now a convicted criminal. While a plea may mean a shorter sentence or lower legal fees, it may not be the best way to resolve the matter.

One way to get outcomes that better reflect the rights of citizens is to increase the number of judges and courtrooms available to hear cases. It may also be worthwhile to reconsider what is considered a crime and what an appropriate sentence may be. In some cases, sentences are the result of a mandatory minimums or sought by those who want to appear to be tough on crime.

By reducing the number of crimes, it may help to reduce the number of cases in the legal system. Therefore, there may be fewer people in jails and prisons throughout the country. Making it harder for prosecutors to seek lengthy sentences may also help reduce the number of people who are behind bars. It may make it less risky for a defendant to ask for a trial instead of simply agreeing to a deal.

Individuals who are facing criminal charges may want to consult with an attorney. Even if the attorney and the prosecutor have negotiated an agreement, the choice is ultimately up to the defendant. It may be more advisable to enter a plea of not guilty if there is a possibility of mounting a successful challenge to the evidence.

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Nicholas J. Hemond Attorney at Law
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Phone: 401-648-6509
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