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The truth about plea bargains

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

The U.S. court system, which also includes Georgia and its expansive statutes, enjoys stressing its mission to use truth as the anchor in all criminal cases. Police officers conduct investigations of varying types, looking for truth, and the information is delivered to local court officials to prosecute those identified.

The problem with this perceived noble claim from the court system is that the truth often never gets revealed, which allows it to sweep a criminal issue under the rug via a plea bargain with those accused that closes the case for further public inspection. And the results for the defendant are rarely good, but they are typically better than the maximum penalties that prosecutors use to threaten defendants for defending themselves.

The problem with plea bargains

Plea bargains, by nature, turn the court system into a farce of sorts. In exchange for pleading guilty to a reduced charge, which often has little to do with actually happened, the court can dismiss the case and then move on to the next victim in the conviction line.

A win/win for the state

The reasoning behind the acceptance of negotiated guilty pleas is that it saves time and money, but what plea bargains often do is avoid a trial that could reveal that the prosecution commonly uses weak-to-borderline evidence to effectively ruin someone’s life who admits to doing something he or she never actually did. This is especially true for the dreaded “crimes against the state” that legislators love to establish at the beginning of the criminal process.

Regardless of what the court claims, the overall picture assuredly reveals that the ugly truth about plea bargaining is that it is effectively lying to the court, just like lying to a police officer. The fact that it serves multiple purposes for the state only makes it acceptable because it faces no public scrutiny and no defense from the defendant.