Thursday, December 17, 2009

Plea Bargains - PRO and CON

Good or bad? Better to get something than nothing? A win for the DA? Or not?
Is it unfair to point out the plea bargains?
Weigh in.

9 comments:

  1. "Good or bad" isn't really relevant. You follow the crime/legal world, so you know the vast majority of criminal cases involve a plea deal of one sort or another. Without plea bargains the judicial system would be overwhelmed -- we don't have the capacity to bring every case to trial -- thus every D.A.'s job is to make deals.

    "Is it unfair to point out the plea bargains?"

    Yes and no. If your starting point is that all plea deals are inherently bad, well, that's unrealistic. They're simply the way the law works. Obviously some deals are better than others. But the truth is, if some killer cops a plea and gets life in prison, there's always someone out there who thinks he should have received the death penalty.
    It's become pretty clear that you assume that any deal Gallegos makes is a bad deal simply because you don't like him. If you're going to point out every plea bargain that comes out of the D.A's office, well, it will be something like the boy who cried wolf.

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  2. I agree, Bob.

    And, there's also a case to be made for excessive plea bargaining. Which is why I keep them on the record.

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  3. With one exception - Bob - it's not that any deal Gallegos makes is a bad deal - it's, for example, making a deal WITHOUT informing the Victim's families, it's making a deal with no clear explanation for dropping the higher charges, or trying to blame the CHP or others, and it is that in noting each deal as it comers along, I can't and shouldn't note one and not the other.

    They're all part of the record - and many of them are part of the picture of Gallegos' schizophrenic pattern of prosecution.

    Like letting Whitmill/Flores plead, but going after Penny O'Gara, still one of the clearest examples of his extreme disconnect.

    As for Gallegos - like? Or not? I'm sure he is a nice guy, a great Dad and a wonderful loving husband, and he will make a great partner back in his family law firm with his wife. Defending the criminals he loves, understanding their angst and sympathizing with their plight. I'm sure he will be very successful, and make a lot more money than he does now.

    He is a terrible DA.

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  4. Plea Bargains or Plea Agreements?

    They are a good thing, as a general rule. But plea agreements need to be balanced. A defendant that accepts responsibility for his or her conduct should get some consideration. But to make sweetheart deals because a particular Deputy DA is too lazy to read the report or contact a witness, not trained property, or just not up to the task is wrong.

    And for certain some cases don't deserve a plea agreement. Whatever happened to certain major criminals being forced to plead to the sheet (plead as charged)and beg the judge for some reduced sentence or go to trial and take your chances. With some of the talent in the DA's office I guess it really isn't that much of a chance.

    Rose doesn't point out every plea bargain Monty Paul's office makes just some of the more blatant trainwrecks. Our DA may be a nice guy or a good dad I don't know, but his performance as the DA has been dismal.

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  5. Just a hypothetically thought out journey.

    Suppose that you or I are law abiding citizens who enjoy mowing the lawn and then one evening the City Council passes an Law that restricts us from mowing our lawns on all days except Monday morning from the hours of 8am to 9am local time on the second and fourth Mondays from May to October to include the months of May and October.

    Ok, I comply and for some reason my work takes me away for 2 mowing months and arrangements have been made with the neighbor boy to mow my lawn in my absence. Now we add a time line on the mowing.

    First mowing done in accordance with City Council law.
    Second mowing goes over by 15min and the Code Enforcement Officer cites the neighbor kid...FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH MOWING CODE.

    When I arrive home months later, a summons is waiting for me to appear for the following violations:

    1. Employment of a minor without authorization from School District.
    2. Employment of a minor without submitting payroll information as required by law.
    3. Failure to supply Workmans Comp as required by law.
    4. Failure to supply paperwork that the Employer has documents on file that shows the Employee has a right to work in the United States.
    5. Child Endangerment stemming from the Employer to allow a minor to operate a machine with wheels.
    6. Child Endangerment: Allowing a minor to work without direct adult supervision while operating a machine.
    7. Child Endangerment: Allowing a minor to work past the times set forth by the City Council for the mowing of lawns.
    8. Code Violation: Unkept front and back yard. Grass 9 inches high.(See City rules on correct height height limits for Lawns.)
    9. Failure to Comply with Abatement Notice. (Grass to tall Law.)
    10. Failure to Comply with Second notice of Abatement.

    Ok Rose, I go and see the District Attorney with some hope that the DAs office will do its duty to protect the Citizen from unfounded prosecution. So what are my chances? Sorry, the DA must have justice but is willing to settle with just Numbers 1,3,4,9 and 10 being dropped as long as I plead guilty to all the others and are willing to forfeit all my rights to a trial as Legislated by the State of California under Plea Agreements.

    Sorry Rose, but I do not make any deals that require me to forgo my rights as a citizen. So off to trial I go, and Paul Whatshisname is the Da and the Judge is Sober for a change. Judge dismissess all charges and gives me stern warning that the next time the kid next door breaks my window, do not have him mow the lawn to settle the transgression.

    Well Rose I hope understand that the FIRST DUTY of the DA is to make sure that no one is charged with a trumped up crime. Trouble is, trumps is the only card game they play when no crime has been committed. So next time the DA in your area deals a plea agreement just take a look at what cards he delt and what cards were needed to win the hand and notice that all the discards were just jokers being delt from the bottom of the deck by the DA in the first place.

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  6. Hilarious.

    Now - you DO understand that this is a DA who has shown that he knows how to exercise prosecutorial discretion when he wants to - he announced early on that he wasn't going to be prosecuting pot growers (for example), and he set his own 99/100 plant limit.

    So we can assume that he would realize that a kid mowing your lawn is not worthy of prosecution... he should have dismissed the charges as ludicrous. (In your scenario at least the judge showed some common sense.)

    BUT, this is Gallegos we are talking about and letting your toddler wander a few feet in front of you is grounds for pers-err, I mean PRosecution.

    But if you rape, murder, or steal, or beat or grow pot, well, he's more inclined to be lenient.

    We could also talk about the mindset that would allow such intrusive govt. to interfere with how you maintain your yard... and why it is a bad idea.

    But at any rate, I can't tell whether you are saying plea deals are good or bad...

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  7. Plea deals not good, plea deals bad.

    Plea deals come about due to the CHARGES being put forth to the Court in the GUISE of INFORMATION, and when was the last time you noticed a DA pleading down a BILL of INDICTMENT?....NEVER!!!

    Why? In the former the DA has spoken and he never lies to the Court and the latter the People have COMMANDED.

    Rose, go back and see what Crimes the Grand Jury has Tasked the Court with and what Crimes the DA has brought forth to the Court on Information.....Bet you Dollars to Doughnuts that 99.999999% IT IS THE LATTER (Information).

    Which raises the question: When are plea agreements by the DA
    an OBSTRUCTION of JUSTICE?

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  8. Jon

    It's not working.

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  9. Rose, What happened to Penny O'Gara? She was my first grade teacher and I think she did a swell job. I'm an LEO now so i didn't stray too far off track.

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