In an all out effort to reduce crime the local police department has initiated a â€œzero toleranceâ€, pro-arrest policy resulting in a massive increase in misdemeanor arrests.
While some can be dismissed out of hand, most of the arrests are supported with probable cause, including many with drug or weapon possession charges which can carry significant prison sentences. Neither the Prosecutorâ€s Office nor the Criminal Court can handle the ballooning case load. Sensing this, defense attorneys are pressing their clientsâ€ right to a speedy trial or dismiss the charges. Are plea deals an option?.
A mugger attacks an elderly woman on the steps of her home, grabbing her purse and pulling her to the ground as he fled. In the fall the victim broke her hip. After surgery she was sent to a nursing home for treatment and care where she died of complications a few weeks later. The thief was caught with the womanâ€s wallet containing $9. The family, community leaders and the press are calling for the defendant to be charges with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a 40 year maximum sentence. The prosecutor is troubled by the lack of physical evidence, the time between the assault and the victimâ€s death and potential intervening causes of death (i.e., hospital and nursing home care). According to the defense attorney , the accused is willing to plead guilty to simple theft; a crime punishable by a maximum.of 6 months incarceration. Should the prosecutor make the plea deal?
The cases outlined above are not presented for answers but to stimulate your thinking.
Discussion question: Is plea bargaining good or bad â€¦. for the courtâ€s docket management? â€¦..for the victim? â€¦. for justice?
Support your response with at least one (1) outside â€¦not course materialâ€¦ source. APA formatted citations are required in the narrative, and a full citation at the end of your response.
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