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Final Class Feedback [12-01-20]

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Of what is this 'evidence'?

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Roman Catholic Diocese v. Cuomo

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Feedback [11-30-20]

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Thanksgiving Thread

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Peremptory Challenges [11-23-2020]

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Feedback [11-17-20]

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Your questions, doubts and concerns about confrontation and cross as core jury process.

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Feedback November 10

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Feedback [11-09-20]

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Discussion Group 2 [11-9-2020]

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Discussion Group 1 [11-9-2020]

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Election Night

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George Fisher Caves [11-03-2020]

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Group 1 [11-03-2020]

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Group 2 [11-03-2020]

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Group 3 [11-03-2020]

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Feedback 11-2-2020

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Feedback 10-27-2020

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Discussion 10-27-2020

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Feedback 10-26-2020

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Hypothetical 10-19-20

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Feedback 10-20-2020

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Feedback 10-19-20

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Surveillance 10-19-20

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Feedback October 13, 2020

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REVIEW - October 13, 2020. Please offer questions and concerns.

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Feedback Oct 6, 2020 - violence of discussion for some

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Feedback October 6, 2020

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Feedback Oct 5, 2020 Fair

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Gatecrasher - Who Wins?

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Blue Bus

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Conjunction --In what order should we decide the elements of the alleged crime?

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Prison Yard - Can WE prosecute all of them?

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Feedback [09-29-20]

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Would you be interested in joining together in threads while watching the Trump-Biden debate?

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feedback sept 28

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What is your biggest fear going forward?

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BIAS (in judgmen)t

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Feedback #1

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racism - anti-racism

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what is your passion?

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What do you feel you have to learn about fair trial? Do you feel that fair trial matters?

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Give Thanks

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Luna: Question: At base, dose the Bordenkircher holding make sense?
Milky Way: I thought that we were discussing via threads first?
Starkiller Base: Here's my concern - I think plea bargains, if done right, can be a very useful tool for defendants. The question for me is, which outcome is most fair and protective of criminal defendants?
Luyten 726-8A: As long as the sentencing guidelines are not set artificially high as a way to incentivize plea bargaining, I don't see the problem with a prosecutor beating able to bring or threaten the charge at any time. If the guidelines are artificially high, I think it goes against the prosecutor's ethical duty to threaten it for the purpose of leverage in plea bargaining.
Milky Way: But the guidelines are artificially high for so many crimes in this country. Mass incarceration is debilitating.
Luyten 726-8A: Efficiency is one reason for plea bargaining, but I think it is a secondary reason. The primary reason is that defendants who plead guilty have accepted that they made a mistake, which makes them less likely to repeat criminal activity. They are less culpable and more rehabilitated so they do not need to be and should not be in prison as long.
Milky Way: But almost every pleas out at this point, which means that a huge percentage of the defendants are innocent
Rigel: I don't think so - (overwhelmingly) most people charged are guilty
Altair: I really liked Peters idea that the prosecutor maybe should be doing their job in the justice structure. On the other hand, if the goal of judicial economy is to be able to charge as many people as possible then maybe allowing plea bargaining makes sense in order to be able to move on to the next case.
Starkiller Base: I think the number of people pleading out shows that the plea bargaining system as currently set up is unjustly coercive. I'd like to see more people taking up their rights to a jury trial
Milky Way: also our system is not oriented towards rehabilitation as a purpose of punishment
Starkiller Base: And I disagree with Rigel
Barefield: @Blackeye that's an interesting proposition. Do you actually think it's rehabilitative to do it that way or would admitting guilt before a judge/jury in order to have leniency in sentencing do more for the defendant?
Milky Way: I also disagree. I do not think it is an overwhelming majority that is guilty
Luyten 726-8A: @Andromeda, I agree that the guidelines are often too high. But I don't know why you assume that a high rate a plea leads to the conclusion that many of them are innocent. Maybe you are right, but I don't know how we would know that.
Athos: I agree with andromeda that plea bargaining results in way too many innocent people pleading guilty. many times because of lack of good counsel, lack of funds to post bail, etc.
Rigel: To the point about "unequal footing" - If I got charged today for a murder crime I know I didn't commit, I'm not going to just accept a plea deal because the punishment is high.
Milky Way: Because the trial process isnt able to root out innocence
Altair: @ blackeye do we all agree that efficiency is secondary to recognizing the mistake. I would think the opposite, though I don't know.
Europa: I would caution against this idea that someone accepting a plea indicates admission of a mistake, etc
Milky Way: The process is intended to assume innocence
Europa: People who are held in custody, for example, leading up to the plea negotiation process are already reacting to a coercive situation
Mahasim: @razwan, i might think that i wouldnt accept it too. but then you watching something like the central park 5 documentary and see how prosecutors can threaten you with fake evidence and make accused co-conspirators seem like they're flipping against you...and you might plea
Starkiller Base: I'm not sure I'd say either efficiency or owning a mistake are secondary to each other in terms of high-level concerns. But I don't think the majority of people plead guilty to own their mistakes, but to avoid ridiculous sentences and on the advice of bad lawyers
Athos: @Razwan, that could be you because you're more informed about the legal system. Many people don't know their rights and because of that prosecutors take advantage of them
Milky Way: Agreed^^^
Milky Way: So many people are terrified and have defense attorneys that pressure them to take a plea
Milky Way: public defenders just cannot take every case to trial
Rigel: I think everyone knows that if you are innocent you don't go to jail
Titan: I think an additional consideration, mentioned in the Bordenkircher dissent, is the prosecutor's motive for offering a plea deal. If the prosecutor is simply trying to punish the defendant for exercising their right to a jury trial, that presents a different situation than the prosecutor trying to find an outcome that best serves the public interest. But as in the Batson line of cases, discerning the prosecutor's motive can be challenging.
Rigel: As long as you are innocent, don't accept a plea deal.
Rigel: The reality is people accepting plea deals are not innocent
Athos: i cant help but think of the tragic story of Khalief Browder, who was falsely accused of stealing a backpack and arrested. he refused to take the plea bargain because he was innocent, and as a result ended up on Rikers island for years-- where he was put in solitary and beaten. and when he was finally release, he ended up committing suicide because of the lasting emotional trauma of his experience
Starkiller Base: If prosecutors didn't adjust their sentences based on whether someone accepted a plea or not, would there ever be enough incentive to take a plea?
Luyten 726-8A: How many people agree that the real problem is sentencing guidelines which are set artificially high? I do for one.
Milky Way: So @Razwan you legitimately think no innocent people every take plea deals?
Athos: so i think that's important context when considering the reality of prosecutorial power in plea bargaining
Milky Way: Despite the debilitating engrained racism in the system?
Athos: I also worked at a capital punishment office-- we had a client who has now been proven innocent. But all the way leading up to trial the prosecutor kept offering plea bargain in exchange for taking death sentence off the table-- basically to coerce a guilty verdict.
Rigel: No, I think that there are always some mistakes. Just like how trials sometimes make the wrong decision and condemn innocent people to death. But those are outliers. If you believe the whole system doesn't work on a regular basis, then none of this matters (which maybe you believe, and if a legit perspective)
Milky Way: Many innocent people have been put to death as proven by DNA. I don't think that its hard to imagine being coerced by the literal threat of death
Athos: i dont think improved sentencing would change the problem
Barefield: Important to note that some people do not admit guilt while also taking a plea--see nolo contendere pleas
Mahasim: do nolo contendere please have any impact on how ppl are sentenced? do they get more time than someone who admitted guilt?
Barefield: Usually have no connection to how much time a person is offered, but varies case by case. I just brought this forward because a plea doesn't always necessarily mean an admission of guilt
Mahasim: Razwan, I'd really encourage you to check out the innocence project. ppl are innocent and accept plea deals all the time.
Athos: @earth that is true, I don' think it is common though.
Milky Way: If that's the case, why do we assume innocence? Aren't you assuming guilt? Doesn't that violate the fundamnetal principle of the justice system?
OP: In nearly 11% of the nation's 349 DNA exoneration cases, innocent people entered guilty pleas-- from innocence project website
Mahasim: Thanks @OP for finding the stat. i've projects on this before and its more common than it may seem.
Mahasim: I'm trying to think about how we could fix the system as is. it might be better if there were no plea bargaining with the threat of the death penalty.
Mahasim: although DP cases are a small minority of the total cases