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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Question about the US justice system (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mikael Eriksson
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Is it true that when somoene is suspected of for example a murder, the prosecutor says something like this:

"If you confess, you will get x number of years in prison, but if you don't confess, you will get a longer time in prison!"
stoneunhinged
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Lobo is still in bed, so you will have to wait for a detailed, professional answer.

But in the meantime you can Google "plea bargaining". If you do, this is the first hit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plea_bargain
Al Angello
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I think what Mikael just described is a plea bargain. The only thing that I can add to his statement is "you will only get a longer sentence if convicted"
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
tommy
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The cops are not supposed to offer any promise or threat or deal to get you to confess. If they do and you go to court and plead not guilty the confession evidence might thrown out because they are not supposed to get a confession like that. Curiously the prosecution can offer a deal in court to get you to plead guilty, a plea bargain, as Al says, to get you to plead guilty for less time and so on.

In any event always keep your mouth shout and always plead not guilty.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Josh Chaikin
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In some cases, yes, a lighter sentence will be given if a confession is made. This saves the time and money of prepping to go to trial, which is bad enough for civil matters, nevermind capital offenses. In other cases, however (especially if a crime is henious enough), a plea bargain won't be offered.
Al Angello
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Tommy
The cops do not make the offer. The offer is usually made by the District Attorney's office after the arrest has been made.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
kcg5
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who wants four fried chickens and a coke
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In an overall view, it is flawed.
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
Dannydoyle
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There is no way on a message board to effectivly deal with the nuances of a plea bargain system in the US Justice system. There are factors that are involved that are unique to each situation. Just a few are if a murderer can clear other cases, give a family closure, give up an accomplice, or any number of 1000 things that the DA may say, "ok if you tell me we run the sentence concurent and not consecutive". (which means that if you have 25-life for 3 different things, concurent they are run at the same time, consecutive they run one after the other)

The point is that the DA has leverage. A plea is generally not taken on a case without a "quid pro quo"

In the end what the misconception is here is that the DA does NOT decide who does how much time. The judge does it within sentencing guidelines. The DA can take a "plea bargain" and recomend to the judge and say he agreed and all that but the final word is the judge. The DA will offer lower than maximum as a "plea" and the idea is that if you don't take it you roll the dice with the jury and they COULD convict you and you COULD do the max. A plea assumes that the jury will convict, and that the defendant does not want to risk it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mikael Eriksson
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Wouldn't it be more logical that a person who refuses to confess gets a milder punishment than someone who confess? I mean, there is a higher probability that a person who confess is actually guilty, so if you confess, you will get a certain punishment, but if you don't confess, you might be innocent, and will get a milder punishment. Of course I'm talking about cases where there is no proof whatsoever.

A funny coincident occurred two hours ago. When I entered the local pizza place, a woman who looked like the judge who sentenced me though I was innocent a few years ago was there. I quenched an impulse to knock her out. I mean, it MIGHT have been someone who just looked like her. Yeah, the justice system has really managed to make me less hatefull...
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2010-04-29 15:40, Mikael Eriksson wrote:
Wouldn't it be more logical that a person who refuses to confess gets a milder punishment than someone who confess? I mean, there is a higher probability that a person who confess is actually guilty, so if you confess, you will get a certain punishment, but if you don't confess, you might be innocent, and will get a milder punishment. Of course I'm talking about cases where there is no proof whatsoever.

It might be more logical, but it's less practical. The inducement to confess is the promise of a milder punishment.
Al Angello
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Plea bargaining only happens when the weight of evidence is heavily against you.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
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But if you are a famous sport hero, or even have been an American Idol contestant, you would be crazy to confess- of course the jury will be on your side... we treasure our "heroes" here...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Scott Cram
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That didn't work out so well for Randy Quaid and his wife, recently.

First, they skipped out on a $10,000 hotel bill.

Then, when the hotel sued them, they avoided numerous court appearances.

When they finally did show up for a court appearance, Randy Quaid brings along his Golden Globe award in an attempt to sway the decision.

When all was said and done, the $10,000 bill was finally paid, and Randy Quaid and his wife were sent to jail on $100,000 bail.
tommy
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Has Nicholson been detailed to take him?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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