Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 10, 2011 / 7 Tishrei, 5772

Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining

By Dan K. Thomasson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Not long ago I listened to a veteran defense attorney explain to a child-care worker that her options were either to accept a plea bargain of negligence or go to trial for a much more serious "shaken baby" charge.

On the one hand, the attorney explained, she would be put on probation for a few years and not have to do any jail time; on the other she would face up to 50 years in prison. He said that while he felt her case was winnable or the prosecutor would not have made the offer, he recommended accepting the plea.

When she protested her innocence of any contribution to the death of the baby under her care, explaining that the infant had shown some respiratory difficulty when it was dropped off, the attorney replied that she had to consider the welfare of her own family which included her husband and two small children.

"I believe you're innocent of mistreating the child although your response to its physical difficulty wasn't as quick as it might have been," the attorney said. "But there is a dead baby, and juries often take only that into account -- someone has to be responsible and you would be the most likely person no matter how unfair that may be. You would be confronted by the child's emotional parents sitting in full view of the jury demanding swift judgment, perhaps to cover their own negligence.

"The prosecutor overcharged you and knows it, but that wouldn't keep him from going full tilt to save face if you reject this. I would say you have a 50-50 chance of being acquitted of the more serious charge. Do you want to take that chance?"

Under this advice and pressure from her husband, the woman accepted the prosecutor's offer.

The scenario played out here is not rare. In fact it happens all the time, according to recent findings, as prosecutors, most of whom are elected, use the threat of felonies with long prison terms to extract guilty pleas to lesser charges as a way of clearing cases without going to trial. Implicit in this for the victim is the specter of expensive, debilitating trials. What the accused miss is their day in court. As a result the number of trials in America's courts has dropped substantially, according to news reports.

Adoption of heavy mandatory sentences for some crimes has contributed considerably to the situation, making judges at all levels less and less relevant to a system that now more than ever rests in the hands of the prosecutors. Many of the prosecutors on the state and local levels view the position as a way to catapult themselves into higher political or lucrative private positions or to maintain holds on their current jobs, sometimes for decades. The infamous Duke University lacrosse case where team members were callously accused of sexual abuse of a dancer is the latter. The prosecutor, who was up for reelection, not only was forced to drop the charges but also lost his license to practice law and was briefly incarcerated.

Particularly disturbing is the tendency of many prosecutors to resist ever admitting that the person against whom they have won a conviction is in fact not guilty despite overwhelming evidence, including at times, DNA and recanting witnesses. There is a growing list of the wrongly convicted from death row to lesser sites who have been finally released over the long standing objections of prosecutors.

In the case of the young child-care worker, the defense attorney explained to me that he felt he could have won at trial but that he was duty bound to present the offer as one she should seriously consider because the stakes were so high. "Anything can happen at trial," he said, "and I would not want to have it on my conscience that I advised her not to take the plea offer under the circumstances. There always is a chance of losing and what then would happen to her two young children and her husband who made it clear he could not wait decades for her."

"The plea was pure extortion," he said, "but it kept a mother out of jail."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


I

10/04//11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft

09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- ‘bleak’

09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time

09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money

09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet

09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise

08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess

08/30/11: ‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are

08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee

08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics

08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense

08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness

07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them

07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?

07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job

07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk — and an even greater price if proven a hoax





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles