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Old 12-20-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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So, I/we do not know what the 'issues' with the case are/were.....however, what I am not understanding, and perhaps I just will not understand -- one makes a plea - one gets a sentence - and then one gets the sentence reduced.....grrrr -- there truly needs to be some serious changes in our system...

Brattleboro man gets seven years for sex assault of child *:*Rutland Herald Online
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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Thats the legal system. Plea deals result in an automatic guilty sentence and costs the tax payers less money. Welcome to America
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:54 PM
 
9,193 posts, read 9,273,624 times
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Quote:
So, I/we do not know what the 'issues' with the case are/were.....however, what I am not understanding, and perhaps I just will not understand -- one makes a plea - one gets a sentence - and then one gets the sentence reduced.....grrrr -- there truly needs to be some serious changes in our system...

Brattleboro man gets seven years for sex assault of child *:*Rutland Herald Online
Well, there are practical reasons for this kind of a result.

The prosecutor offered this criminal defendant this particular deal because he realized his entire case depended on what a twelve year old girl remembers happened to her four years ago. I suspect there was either no corroborating evidence or very little corroborating evidence to substantiate her testimony. He realized that if he had taken the case to trial, the defendant might have been found not guilty.

The system requires "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" for any conviction. There were serious concerns that a jury would conclude that that degree of proof existed. Its better that this man be off the streets for only seven years than not at all.

The system is only at fault if you believe that we ought to be able to convict people of crimes based on something less than "proof beyond a reasonable doubt".

Some things aren't right. However, it would be a greater wrong to allow other innocent people to go to prison because we dropped our standard of proof because of a case or two.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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The victims often prefer a plea deal with a reduced -- but guaranteed -- sentence, because then they don't have to be in the same room with the assailant again, they don't have to testify and have a new round of sanity-destroying nightmares about what happened to them, and they don't have to be afraid for the rest of their lives that he will seek revenge. And they don't have to fear that the jury will disbelieve them and that he will be acquitted, which means he can never be tried for what he did ever again.

The best change we could make to the system is describe on the sex offender's registry exactly what the guy was originally charged with and what he pleaded down to.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Chambersburg PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post


The best change we could make to the system is describe on the sex offender's registry exactly what the guy was originally charged with and what he pleaded down to.
Sorry but, it's far too easy in many states , mine included, to be falsely accused when all that's required to go to trial and get a conviction is the accuser's testimony if they are under 13, or claim they were. The above would just make it worse...and it would add even more fuel to the fire we are starting to see when it comes to lawsuits. The registry supposedly isn't meant to be punitive, but it sure does seem like it is, and that violates the ex-post facto clause in the Constitution.
BTW, lots of innocent people take plea agreements because they can't afford good lawyers and the deck seems stacked against them
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:13 PM
 
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^^ Does an Alford plea land a person on the registry?

Honestly, I don't think I've ever read about a single case where the registry protected anyone. Does anyone have a link?

It's not that I like sex offenders, pretty frickin far from it, but are we approaching this issue the right way?
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg PA
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Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
^^ Does an Alford plea land a person on the registry?

Honestly, I don't think I've ever read about a single case where the registry protected anyone. Does anyone have a link?

It's not that I like sex offenders, pretty frickin far from it, but are we approaching this issue the right way?
Yes, an Alford plea can land you on the registry. there's a case in PA right now, where a guy took one to avoid the registry, and he did, but with the AWA now in effect, the crime he plead guilty to is now registerable retroactively...and now they're registering kids too....it's gone crazy. The system is going to end up collapsing because it will be too big and unwieldy.
And, it's not at all what John Walsh lobbied for and he has admitted as much. It was originally meant for the worst of the worst. But we all know what happens when you get politicians and the media involved.
That's why we now have entities like USAfair.org About USA FAIR, Inc. combating all the lies the media spreads.
And no, the registry does not protect children, and in fact, there are lots of kids who have been bullied because they have a family member on the list. And the registry has been used as a hit-list several times. Gary Blanton was killed this past summer, because of an idiot vigilante'. He left behind a wife and 2 sons. His "crime" had been 20 years ago.
He'd been with a girl his own age, in high-school, her mom found out and pressed charges claiming that her daughter was disabled because she was deaf.
So of course, the registry read that he'd been with a disabled minor...
You see, that's just one of the problems with the registry as it is now. there are many others.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:33 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,347,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faeryedark View Post
Sorry but, it's far too easy in many states , mine included, to be falsely accused when all that's required to go to trial and get a conviction is the accuser's testimony if they are under 13, or claim they were. The above would just make it worse...and it would add even more fuel to the fire we are starting to see when it comes to lawsuits. The registry supposedly isn't meant to be punitive, but it sure does seem like it is, and that violates the ex-post facto clause in the Constitution.
BTW, lots of innocent people take plea agreements because they can't afford good lawyers and the deck seems stacked against them

If they were advised to take a plea when there's no evidence against them and they didn't do it -- and they go along with that suggestion -- then they are pure fools. But they can potentially appeal based on incompetent counsel. If they did nothing they may be better off going to trial. Acquittal is forever.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg PA
1,739 posts, read 1,760,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
If they were advised to take a plea when there's no evidence against them and they didn't do it -- and they go along with that suggestion -- then they are pure fools. But they can potentially appeal based on incompetent counsel. If they did nothing they may be better off going to trial. Acquittal is forever.
When it comes to sexual abuse allegations the jury almost always sides with the accuser. I have a loved one falsely accused and he managed to get a hung jury, then took a plea to a lesser charge. Why? because he had to fight to have every scrap of evidence he could be left in. Most they got tossed out /swept under the rape shield. The DA working the case was less than scrupulous but even when it was reported that she was overheard coaching the accuser for rebuttal nothing was done. She vowed to have all the evidence tossed next time. My loved one decided 3 months in jail was probably a better bet than chancing fate and getting 20+ years for things he didn't do.

And trust me, he fared far better than most in his shoes that I read about. Most who went to trial ended up with the 20 years, and it's a very slim chance that they'll get an appeal let alone win one. Meanwhile, they lose all that time with their families and loved ones.... first steps, first day of school, school plays, graduations, weddings, grandkids etc.
That's why so many take a plea...can't say i blame them when caught between a rock and a hard place

BTW, it's one thing if it's little kids making the accusations, if they haven't been coached...it's another when it's a teen claiming such and such happened years ago.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:53 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,347,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faeryedark View Post
When it comes to sexual abuse allegations the jury almost always sides with the accuser. I have a loved one falsely accused and he managed to get a hung jury, then took a plea to a lesser charge. Why? because he had to fight to have every scrap of evidence he could be left in. Most they got tossed out /swept under the rape shield. The DA working the case was less than scrupulous but even when it was reported that she was overheard coaching the accuser for rebuttal nothing was done. She vowed to have all the evidence tossed next time. My loved one decided 3 months in jail was probably a better bet than chancing fate and getting 20+ years for things he didn't do.

And trust me, he fared far better than most in his shoes that I read about. Most who went to trial ended up with the 20 years, and it's a very slim chance that they'll get an appeal let alone win one. Meanwhile, they lose all that time with their families and loved ones.... first steps, first day of school, school plays, graduations, weddings, grandkids etc.
That's why so many take a plea...can't say i blame them when caught between a rock and a hard place

BTW, it's one thing if it's little kids making the accusations, if they haven't been coached...it's another when it's a teen claiming such and such happened years ago.
If you say so. To me, it's equally likely that the kid has finally gotten brave enough to speak up. You seem to assume that if the teenager speaks, the teenager lies.
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