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Plea bargaining should not be an option for offenders in sex crimes

In the U.S., individuals accused of sexually based crimes are legally able to accept a plea deal that allows them to have reduced sentencing penalties. This is wrong and should not be allowed to the extent that it is currently bargained for. Full Editorial

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  1. HB 631 Requirements

    If they want to get rid of plea deals for one they should get rid of them for all crimes.

    Could you imagine the back log of trials.

    The amount of jury selections.

    The extra time planning to win the case. The experts needed.

    Then the right to speedy trial rule shouldnt apply to accused sex offenders, or OMG, they could get off on a technicallity.

    They should have a registry for idiots.

    Plea agreements arent always for the defendant and the victim people, its for the government to move the accused cattle through the gates because they have more cattle being arrested every second for a number of crimes.

    Plea agreements are for the District Attorneys, the Judges, the High Paid Defense Attorneys, to hurry the case along because there is another case to finish!

    If the Government didnt have plea deals, the Government would be broke planning the trials and getting there lies in place.

    Idiot Registry will be enacted in Maine.

    • Eric

      An idiot registry!!!! That would get backlogged rather quickly in this business.

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      I can’t imagine prosecutors wanting to get rid of plea bargaining. That would be a nightmare for them. Imagine having a trial for every sex offense? And if they were to get rid of them for all crimes, it would bring the system to its knees. That would be wonderful. We would see a lot less charging.

      • E

        We’d see a lot less charging… and likely a lot fewer people joining registries as they wouldn’t be convicted!

  2. Sam

    So, if I can murder a family of 4 with a car while drunk I should o lying get 6 months for negligent driving, but God forbid I forget to ask for 5 forms of identification with certified government letters with a notary present before believing someone who says they are over 18 is over 18.

    This person has some springs wound too tight. And sticks where the sun doesn’t shine.

  3. David

    Oh my golly-gosh! Portland, Maine has 197 registrants! 😲 My my, that’s just awfully disturbing! Come visit us in California where we have a hundred thousand people on our Registry.
    The morons on the USM Free Press Editorial Board really should have done some research on the purpose of plea bargains – note especially one of the comments above which so accurately states it plain and simple: plea bargains benefit the district attorney and the government probably even more than it benefits the defendant.

  4. Eric

    “They should have thought about that before they did the crime.” Does that go for hack journalists with agendas who exceed the speed limit, talk on their phone while driving, or have a few drinks before getting behind the wheel? Since thousands of children are killed every year by auto accidents I think a first offender driving offense should have lifetime revocation of their license. I mean, this is all about the children, right? So how can you argue with such logic.

    Who ever wrote this is a total idiot, or just another fanatic. So if a drug dealer sells crack to a minor that is ok to plea out on, or if a gang member fires into a birthday party it isn’t too bad, or kidnapping for ransom is fair, but lord have mercy if you look at someone’s illegal images posted on the internet or chat with a cop posing as a teen. No! Unacceptable. Five years custody won’t do. The only fitting punishment is a life time banishment from society.

    If these people ever actually thought about what they are writing and how ludicrous they are it would sure help matters.

  5. 290 air

    I bet if they did away with plea bargaining there would actually be less registered sex offenders because lots of these crimes might not have enough evidence for a conviction. I know in my case if they hadn’t scared the crap out of me when i was 19 and sent me to men’s central general population in LA that I would have fought it, especially if it was lifetime back then. But when they offer you a year in jail or no time in jail, but having to register, registry sounded pretty good. At least back in 1997 when the law allowed me to get off after 10 years with just a COR, until they retroactively applied the lifetime registration to all registrants and rolled out the megan’s law website. So here I am 21 years later and still on the registry. These people should pull their heads out of their ass and stop making blanket statements.

    • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

      If no one ever took a plea bargain lots of people would have charges dismissed, that pesky speedy trial part of the constitution

      • AlexO

        Is “speedy” defined? I mean, if everyone was forced to trial, a speedy trial might mean 2 years given the circumstances. Wiki had a couple of examples as follows:

        “In addition to the constitutional guarantee, various state and federal statutes confer a more specific right to a speedy trial. In New York, the prosecution must be “ready for trial” within six months on all felonies except murder, or the charges are dismissed by action of law without regard to the merits of the case. This is also known as a “ready rule”. In California courts, defendants have a right to a trial within 100 days to a year.”

        So in California a year is already considered “speedy” and my guess is its due to our huge population. So forcing a trial could greatly move that bar. You could potentially have people spend years behind bar (probably because they can’t make bail), greatly exceeding the actual sentence amount. I think it would be this that would prevent plea bargains form being dropped. That and the billions, if not trillions, of dollars it would cost to move to a trial only system.

  6. Mike G

    From the editorial:
    “One of the negotiations that sometimes occurs during sex crime plea deals is that a defendant may not have to register on the sex offender registry.”
    Well, that was part of my sentencing deal, but it didn’t last long. Three months later, my new probation officer told me that if I didn’t register, she would throw me in jail for a probation violation.
    So I registered. Of course, back then, you just registered one time, and you were done, and “no one would ever see it except for law enforcement personnel.”
    If I had only known the monster that would become, I would have taken jail and fought tooth and nail to stay off the registry, but I guess it wouldn’t have mattered. All those whose crimes pre-dated the registry were forced to register, in clear violation of the ex-post facto provisions of the constitution.

  7. USA

    I concur. Although, there are 2 ways to look at this. Think out of the box. As most aren’t aware, the DA’s have a heavy case load. People get arrested daily. So, the (hopefully) linger your case drags on, the more arrests are being made(cases/backlogged) . Hopefully, a bigger fish is caught and they want to move forward with someone else! In my case, all the charges (5) where dismissed and I plead to a Battery (wobbler). At the time, my attorney informed me I would need to register, but only until the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor? His comment was exactly this! I later learned that was false! (He is now a Commisioner in OC). I might or might not have plead if I had known, but it’s hard to think clearly when your facing or dealing with things like this.

  8. Bill

    In mi, most of us maxed out anyway. it more about the money now

  9. Tim L

    Pardon my scoff but you will never convince me that the threat of forced lifetime registration isn’t used in the plea process whereby DAs use the threat to gain conviction. I have witnessed men plea their way out of registration.

    • Mike G

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the only way to plead out of registering is to plead to a charge that doesn’t require registering. If you plead to a charge that does require registering, but the judge says in your sentencing instructions that you are not required to register, they could still force you to register some time later, like they did with me. I said “The judge did not require me to register when sentencing me!” and they said, “We don’t care what any judge said, the law requires you to register for that crime, and so you will!”

  10. totally against public registry

    It’s editorials like this that elevate the fear and hatred in the public. Who and why was this written, anyway? And do they even know anything about our court and judicial system? I don’t think anyone gets out of registering, once in the courtroom facing the DA

  11. Anonymous

    Idiot registry. Child porn trials require that the jurors view the discovery. Hey idiot registry, my crime is cp and I would NEVER EVER want anyone to view what I saw. Seems you want 3,500 cp trials per year times 12 jurors each case. You idiot!!!

    • Renny

      I would also pose this thought….

      Being compelled to view that garbage, each image, over a period of a week or possibly longer, might actually ignite in some people the desire to see more, and create new offenders as opposed to lock more away.

      Abolishing plea agreements will result in fewer convictions. I thought the government goal was more registrants, not less. How can the industry be fed without more offenders?

  12. Chris F

    There isn’t even a way to comment on that site. I keep getting errors about cookies not being enabled and how their certificate isn’t valid.

    Of course, this is just some little college paper run by clueless students – “The Free Press is the official student newspaper of the University of Southern Maine”

    I’m not even sure if they allow outside comment.

  13. Joe123

    What is this idiot rambling on about? Could someone kindly email this person and ask them to practice journalism, and not this disgrace that they wrote?

    I’ve almost never heard of someone NOT being required to register. That is the #1 thing you cannot usually escape from. Where are the statistics that this Moron is claiming?

    And why the hell are they targeting sex offenses? How about violence and terrorism? Or does this freak get off on seeing that? Let’s check what’s on his/her computer while we’re at it.

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