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Why Innocent People Plead Guilty To Crimes

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posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally I was looking into conviction rates. Similar information like in 2012, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate. Then I stumbled across the following article and I figured I would share it.


the prosecutor-dictated plea bargain system, by creating such inordinate pressures to enter into plea bargains, appears to have led a significant number of defendants to plead guilty to crimes they never actually committed. For example, of the approximately three hundred people that the Innocence Project and its affiliated lawyers have proven were wrongfully convicted of crimes of rape or murder that they did not in fact commit, at least thirty, or about 10 percent, pleaded guilty to those crimes. Presumably they did so because, even though they were innocent, they faced the likelihood of being convicted of capital offenses and sought to avoid the death penalty, even at the price of life imprisonment. But other publicized cases, arising with disturbing frequency, suggest that this self-protective psychology operates in noncapital cases as well, and recent studies suggest that this is a widespread problem. For example, the National Registry of Exonerations (a joint project of Michigan Law School and Northwestern Law School) records that of 1,428 legally acknowledged exonerations that have occurred since 1989 involving the full range of felony charges, 151 (or, again, about 10 percent) involved false guilty pleas.

It is not difficult to perceive why this should be so. After all, the typical person accused of a crime combines a troubled past with limited resources: he thus recognizes that, even if he is innocent, his chances of mounting an effective defense at trial may be modest at best. If his lawyer can obtain a plea bargain that will reduce his likely time in prison, he may find it “rational” to take the plea.

How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent. The size of that range suggests the imperfection of the data; but let us suppose that it is even lower, say, no more than 1 percent. When you recall that, of the 2.2 million Americans in prison, over 2 million are there because of plea bargains, we are then talking about an estimated 20,000 persons, or more, who are in prison for crimes to which they pleaded guilty but did not in fact commit.
www.nybooks.com...

It's sad to know that an innocent person may be placed in a situation where he/she is better off to take a plea for a crime he/she didn't commit. Is anything being done to stop innocent people from being punished initially?

Relevant link: www.nybooks.com...
Additional information on conviction rates: www.justice.gov...
Relevant ATS links:Police Told to Arrest Innocent People *Video*
Innocent until proven guilty... The great American myth...




posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 09:33 AM
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Yep
I took a bargain but was innocent
I couldn't afford the costs and didn't want to fight

Hasn't changed my life much as it was evident to many that I was innocent

The system is a lie, it's those with money who can afford to prove themselves "innocent" though they are not
Read on a prison wall
" life is a s@&t sandwich, the more bread you have the less s&@t you have to eat"

There is no justice



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: gmoneystunt

I'll link their actual site so people know what youre referring to.

The Innocence Project.


The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

Its crazy when you think about it.

I think 16 of the people that they exonerated were on death row...

We have to do away with the death penalty. I'm no "bleeding heart liberal" but innocent people are being killed.


It better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer.

- William Blackstone

Not according to our "justice" system.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 10:09 AM
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Plea bargaining, pleading guilty to get a lesser sentence. Trials are expensive, the system is hopelessly backed up.

"Oh, you want to go to trial, we'll just detain you for months to think about that. And heres another charge. By the time you get to trial the list of charges will be lengthy, so don't you want to reconsider?"

"Just let us off the hook ad we'll let you out. Sorry about the criminal record."

This isn't much different than Solzhenitsyn's book, "Gulag Archipelago". To feed the slave labor force held in camps, mass arrests would be carried out. That was a lot of work, sometimes they would just arrest one person in a family. As each family member came down town to inquire about their whereabouts, they would also be arrested and shipped of to the Gulag. Quotas filled.

Todays prisons for profit and prison work details (slave labor) are different than Gulags how?



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 10:09 AM
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originally posted by: gladtobehere
a reply to: gmoneystunt

I'll link their actual site so people know what youre referring to.

The Innocence Project.

I think 16 of the people that they exonerated were on death row...

We have to do away with the death penalty. I'm no "bleeding heart liberal" but innocent people are being killed


Thanks for adding the link. I also agree with doing away with the death penalty.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 11:01 AM
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I also took a plea bargain, a ridiculous 10 year first offender probation. I've been on call-in in the state of GA for the past 4 years. Over a text message I had sent saying where someone was dropping me off... They ended up getting robbed for 15 dollars... Long story short, the girl even went up to the DA and told her it was all a big misunderstanding. Yet, the state continued to go with the charges filed against me. Then my lawyer waited ti'll the weekend before after having a year to prepare for court. Preached that doom and gloom, along with the 7000 i had paid before court. Had I took it too court, it would have been another 7 grand... Mind you, this all happened when I was 17, my bond was 50,000 dollars, my folks had to put down a property bond just too get me out, ti'll I went to court... So I was scared into taking the deal. After the year waiting to go to court, and many continuances later, all they dropped from the deal was 6 months of detention center. Now, everyday I pray it doesn't pop up on my background check everytime I apply for jobs, LIKE RIGHT NOW IN THE NEXT TAB... A job for 14/hr at a animal vaccine company Merial, seperating Antigen Pools and I can't even get it because of a first offender charge, I WAS TOLD, wouldn't show up before i had taken.
Then my brother was being charged with murder for getting one of his friends a few pills, the pills ended up being fake. Buddy shot them up and killed himself, and my brother also had taken a half of one, and about died himself. Well, that's involuntary manslaughter not murder, for one. Yet, they kept the murder on him until he plead out to a 15 do 10, for a involuntary manslaughter charge that usually only carries a 3-4 year sentence. And his lawyer did him much the same way as mine did... Not too mention not go after where they came from.
The fact that me and my brother are considered "violent offenders" is, imho, a testament to truly how #ed this justice system is. We'd never hurt a fly.
Neither cases had a shred of evidence, but when your surrounded by "Oh, man YOU'RE #ED." Everyday sitting in a jail cell, a plea deal seems a lot better.
These District Attorney's and Corporations that own these jail's ARE ROLLING IN THE DOUGH! for every single person they send to prison. Or churn out the Probation system, most of my small town is on a Non-report First offender probation, for phony charges, SPECIFICALLY to rob us citizens of our 2nd amendment, to bear arms, and 4th amendment rights, no unwarrented searches or seizures. Plea bargain convictions are MUCH HIGHER than even 45-50%, I believe.

And that's all I have to say about that.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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Cause sometimes prison is paradise in comparison the people who keep hunting you down



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:18 PM
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Here is an excellent movie that depicts this very subject. In the trailers they point out the 'why' cops raid places where lower income folks reside and then the numbers look great for Federal Grants.

www.imdb.com...

Close to 94% incarcerated are there on a "Plea Bargain"..

namaste

P.S. And here is some "friendly advice" I cannot give You 'legal advice' because I'm NOT an attorney but as a retired Police Officer I advise You to get acquainted with Your 'Miranda Warning' 'You have the right to remain silent.' and when the cops ask to 'search Your vehicle' tell them "No" and then let them drum up some Probable Cause. Remember: You cannot find an elephant in a shoebox, so that will narrow their search.
You might also remind them that the Supreme Court ruled that a traffic stop cannot take longer than it takes to fill out the citation, so when Deputy Fisher says "Now We can just wait for the K-9..." this would be a great time to remind them while You're recording the conversation or better yet have Your attorney on the line..

Tell them You're a "Bottlecap" (This means You're worthless to mess with and no need to search You/Turn on the metal detector..) And fix Your tail lights so the cops don't pull You over.
edit on 10/13/2014 by JimNasium because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:21 PM
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This explains some of it.




posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:48 PM
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Good information. I personally believe that the number of incarcerated people who are innocent is a lot higher.

And there are other reasons people may plead guilty to things they did not commit. They may be badgered so much they break down and just say they did. Not because they did, but they do not have the mental fortitude to handle the verbal and emotional abuse police and others may be dishing out to them.

Some may be so depressed they cannot reason straight: Imagine coming home from work, finding your wife murdered. Calling the police in a state of shock. And then instead of them helping you they immediately accuse you and arrest you. You might not be in a proper state of mind. You just lost your loved one, and then calling for help, instead of getting it, you are immediately falsely accused and everything is torn from you.

You lose your job, you are constantly harassed by detectives trying to prod a guilty plea out of you. You are locked away in a cell by yourself, or with other people who probably don't care about you. You are going through intense grief and pain at the loss of your loved one, and of the injustice being done on you.

It may be very easy to crack even a sane innocent person in cases like that, which have happened, and one I know of personally. I did not the man, but I had a friend tell me his story, and he was in prison for two years on a guilty plea, until finally something happened to reveal the truth.

No one apologized to this man for helping ruining his life further.

The injustice system is completely messed up.
edit on 17-3-2016 by LifeisGrand because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:48 PM
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originally posted by: Black_Fox
This explains some of it.



That's a great and eye-opening video. The "justice" given the poor is really quite appalling and sick.



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