Plea Bargain

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Brittany Rulli
According to Timothy Sandefur’s In Defense of Plea Bargaining article, “a plea bargain is a contract with the state. The defense agrees to plead guilty to a lesser crime and receive a lesser sentence, rather than go to trial on a more severe charge where he faces the possibility of a harsher sentence.” We are also told in The New York Times Article; Federal Law on Sentencing is Unjust, Judge Rules that “about 97 percent of federal criminal convictions nationwide were the result of plea bargains.” In a Frontline Program- The Plea we watched in class there were interviews of people involved in three separate cases that had involved the plea bargain. In this video a man named Charles Gampero had gotten into a fight outside of a bowling alley and walked away leaving the victim unharmed and alive. After he had left the victim had been killed, but Gampero had been charged with second degree murder and attempt to kill. The prosecutors had told Gampero that they would give him a plea of dropping the charges to manslaughter, giving him 7-21 years and that if he didn’t he would get a mandatory 25 to life. Gampero said because he was positive that he was not at fault and had left the victim unharmed he had wanted to take it to trial. In the end Gampero wound up taking the plea and not taking it to trial because the judge had scared him so much by telling him that he would get no less than 25 years if he took it to trial. If Gampero had went to trial he would have had the chance of getting less time than his 7-21 years. The judges are allowed to lie to you like they had to Gampero about getting 25 to life. Another example from this video was Patsy Kelly Jarrett. Jarrett was charged for the murder of a gas station tenant years after the murder. Jarrett was home during the time of the murder and the only evidence was someone saying that it was her. The prosecutors had given her a plea bargain of taking robbery and getting five years and later...
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