Home     Links     Contact Us     Bookmark  
   Homepage      News      Legal Forum      Dictionary  
Home : Legal Forum : Law & Ethics

If a person who is on trial-admits to the crime so he can plea bargain-why is this info not given to the jury?
Find answers to your legal question.

If a person who is on trial-admits to the crime so he can plea bargain-why is this info not given to the jury?

Specifically-Im speaking of murder. Someone is on trial and during the trial is trying to pleabargain and admits to everything-no plea bargain is reached. Why is the jury not allowed to be told that the person has confessed? A confession should stop the train right there - over and done with.


2008-07-23 19:57:14 +0000
Because the judicial system encourages plea bargains. If the state and the state thinks a particular arrangement is in the best interest of the state and the defendant thinks the relationship is in their best interest when considering their rights, the state will usually allow it (not always, but usually). Such agreements would be virtually impossible if they didn't allow the defendant to make such confessions for the purpose of plea bargaining. The alternative would be more murderers going free and more innocent people getting convicted when they might have gotten man 1 and maybe 8 years. Its typically considered in the best interest of justice.

It's the same in civil cases. You can't use the other side makes during settlement negotiations. The same reasoning applies.

2008-07-23 19:50:54 +0000
They are pleading "no contest" not "guilty." They won't fight the charges against them providing that they are given a shorter sentence. There would be confidentiality issues, and it would be prejudicial.

2008-07-23 19:59:12 +0000
Then the whole plea bargain process would stop. The prosecutor would have to agree to a deal before he knows all the facts about what was done. No one would tell their story first, if it could just be used as a confession.

2008-07-23 19:50:46 +0000
Because you have the right not to incriminate yourself.

2008-07-23 19:53:09 +0000
The confession wouldn't be valid without the plea bargain. If no plea deal is reached, then the person doesn't confess. So the defense lawyers will probably phrase it like "IF my client confessed, what could we expect the charges to become, and what would the sentence be?" If the jury was told about this, then nobody would ever attempt to plea bargain, as they would rightfully fear that an unsuccessful plea bargain (Perhaps made so intentionally by the prosecutors) would then lead to a sure conviction.

2008-07-23 19:52:48 +0000
as stated he just tried to plea bargain not confessed. same reason they can't read the paper and discuss the case. they are supposed to judge on evidence.

2008-07-23 20:03:56 +0000
Once a plea bargain is discussed, the legal process bypasses the jury. Plea bargains are used to eliminate the trial process when someone knows they are going to be convicted and have a major sentence given. The plea bargain cuts the penalty, as well as the time spent in court for the trial. Anything done in this process is not admissible as evidence if the plea bargain fails since it all is part of the process of bargaining. Many people people plead to a lesser crime and sentence even if they are innocent because they know they can't get off if the trial goes on. Therefore in all fairness to the accused, the things discussed during the bargaining process are kept from the jury, though the judge is fully aware of everything. The jury is left to form their own opinion of the accused and therefore it is a fair trial if it continues to a verdict. If the jury is allowed to know what went on during a plea bargain, the accused would then have grounds to appeal if convicted by the jury and most appeal courts would overturn the conviction on the grounds of the prosecution's misconduct.

2008-07-23 19:54:48 +0000
Because a defendant does not 'admit to everything' during a plea bargain.

The defendant makes a 'proffer' to the DA. This is basically saying "IF I were to plead not guilty to the crime, what plea bargain would you offer me?" That is NOT the same as admitting you did it.

Criminal law has the concept of an "Alford plea", which is basically saying "I didn't do it, but I'm going to plead guilty because if I go to trial I might get convicted and face a much worse penalty"

Even a confession does not "stop the train", because in many cases people confess to crimes they did not commit. This may be for a number of reasons.

The person may be mentally unstable, and looking for attention.

They may have been so drunk or strung out at the time that when the cops told them they did it they believe them.

They may have been persuaded by the cops that they have enough evidence to convict them anyway, and they can get a better deal by confessing.

Does anyone here remember the "Central Park Jogger" case in New York?

She was raped and beaten so badly she almost died, and left in a shallow pool of freezing water. She had no memory at all of the attack. The police arrested four black teenagers, all four of whom confessed, in detail, to the attack in exchange for shorter sentences.

Years later, after all four had served their sentences and been released, a man serving life for other rapes in the same part of NY after that case bragged that he had been the rapist in that case too. Because the DA at the time was a political enemy of the DA that got the conviction he pulled the rape kit and did DNA testing on it. Bingo - the person in prison WAS the rapist.

The four kids who'd been convicted said in interviews after their convictions were vacated that they confessed because the cops told each of them, seperately, that the other three had already done so, and if they didn't confess, the cops would make sure they faced the death penalty because the jogger was expected to die.


 Enter Your Message or Comment

User Name:  
User Email:   
Post a comment:

Legal Discussion Forum

Copyright (c) 2009-2013 Wiki Law 3k Friday, February 12, 2016 - Trusted legal information for you.
Archive: Forum  |  Forum  |  Forum  |  Links