General Question

Snoopy's avatar

If you knew you were innocent of a crime (read on)...

Asked by Snoopy (5778 points ) August 18th, 2008

and were offered a deal of time served vs. going to court and potentially being convicted and getting 30 years in prison what would you do?

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29 Answers

bodyhead's avatar

I would plea bargain. They say that 1 out of every 100 people that gets the death penalty is later proven innocent. That means that 1% of innocent people get put to death for a crime they did not commit.

I would take the deal because I’m not sitting on enough cash to fight something (pretty serious if I was going to get 30 years) that might send me away from my primary income generator.

There are actually a good deal of innocent people in jail. The system works pretty good but it doesn’t work great.

btko's avatar

It would depend on what I am admitting to.

bodyhead's avatar

Good call, I was thinking of a drug charge. If it was anything that would land me on the sexual offender list, I would fight it all the way to the white house.

Snoopy's avatar

@btko In the case I heard about today on NPR, you would be admitting to being an accessory to a murder the occurred during a robbery, as I recall.

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Lifetime-Criminal-Defense-Lawyers/dp/0230605281/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219094021&sr=1–1

In any event the Q is really about the time and the roll of the dice. Pick your poison as far as the crime goes…..

girlofscience's avatar

@bodyhead: You said:

They say that 1 out of every 100 people that gets the death penalty is later proven innocent. That means that 1% of innocent people get put to death for a crime they did not commit.

Do you realize HOW extremely logically flawed it is to draw the conclusion you express in your second statement from the fact you express in the first? Someone shouldn’t take the LSATs…

wildflower's avatar

Depends on how compelling the case against me is. If I thought I could without a doubt prove my innocence, I would, but if the circumstances were strongly suggesting my guilt, I’m not sure I’d gamble. Of course, the nature of the allegation would matter too. Certain things I could take a hit for and others I could never even suggest admitting guilt to.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

You can never get back time served so I would take it and get my sweet little butt out of jail. I’ll work from the outside to clear my name.

bodyhead's avatar

@girlofscience Hah, you’re right. I worded that stupidly and ineptly. Silly me. Thanks for pointing it out. I was just trying to drive home my point but semantics got in the way.

Really thought, in my eyes no one is innocent. Everyone is hiding a skeleton.

tinyfaery's avatar

If the crime was what I would consider heinous, I’d fight it forever; I would never admit to doing something I didn’t do, in a case as such. If it was for something assault or robbery related (though I’d never do those things), I might consider a plea. It would really depend on my attorney and the evidence against me.

redsgirl4eva's avatar

It would depend on the crime that it was.

redsgirl4eva's avatar

not only if it were on the sex offenders list for me

crunchaweezy's avatar

What’s wrong with being a sex offender and telling your neighborhood you’re one?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

poofandmook's avatar

@crunchaweezy: Saves the money of buying Halloween candy. :x I’m going to hell, aren’t I?

Judi's avatar

It happens every day. My Nephew got hit by his wife and grabbed her as she lunged for his brother. He got arrested, she told the grand jury THE TRUTH and he still got indited. On the advice of his attorney ( My sister had to pay $5000.00 up front for him) he plead to time served. (They kept him in jail for 2 weeks with a ridiculous high bail and then kept him on house arrest for 2 months. He lost his job because it was less than 2 miles from her house and they had a restraining order against him, even though SHE didn’t want it, but he couldn’t get a court appointed attorney because he had a job when he was arrested. Because of a couple of basketball fights he had been in when he was younger (10 years earlier) he was looking at serious time if he was convicted. They let him out with time served. Afterwards the police kept harassing him, and his family. He moved to Dubai and they still find any excuse to go into my sister’s house. She is an upstanding citizen (hospital administrator) but they still harass her. I don’t think they realize that he no longer even lives in this country.

crunchaweezy's avatar

He must be having a blast in Dubai!

sarapnsc's avatar

Time served….even if I knew I was innocent, at least I would be free, to try and clear my name and finding the guilty party. I can’t do much sitting inside a jail cell, I don’t have money to to give to even a half way decent lawyer.
I’m not taking a chance with our justice system…too many innocent people have gone to prison.
I’d take the time served and runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Snoopy's avatar

I think I am w/ you sara….and all the others that go w/ time served.

Judi's avatar

The problem is that now he has the record. Most employers do criminal background checks. 10 year old basketball fights is one thing, but this made it really tough to get a job. He IS having a blast in Dubai! he’s a personal trainer.

sarapnsc's avatar

Judi, can he get it expunged? Some crimes one can get it expunged, if it is their first and only crime I do believe.

marinelife's avatar

I would not take the plea bargain, unless I was positive I would be convicted and was told I had little to no chance to prove my innocence. Once convicted, it would be impossible to go back and say you were innocent.

Judi's avatar

@sarapnsc;He was in the process of getting his his old stuff expunged when this happened.Now he can’t get any of it expunged.

JackAdams's avatar

@Marina; You used the phrase “prove my innocence” in your answer, and it is my understanding that the accused doesn’t have to prove anything; the accuser is the one who must do the proving, and beyond a reasonable doubt.

I’m not any kind of lawyer, and that opinion is based on a few law classes I attended in college.

Judi's avatar

JackAdams;
That is the idealistic way of looking at it but it doesn’t always work out that way in court.

JackAdams's avatar

@Judi: Sadly, you are absolutely right. The ideal is not always the reality.

But it should be.

marinelife's avatar

@JackAdams Sorry, I used shorthand. I meant in the court of public opinion, which does not seems to be on board with the founding fathers.

JackAdams's avatar

@Marina: You are certainly right about that.

bea2345's avatar

I myself have long had doubts about legal systems. So ingrained is this distrust, that I have a short list of attorneys I would consult were I guilty as charged.

Judi's avatar

I have a list of attorneys I would consult if I were innocent as well!!

shared3's avatar

Plea bargains. People tend to go for the known, certainly bad thing vs. going for the unknown, very damaging thing. Just like most people would choose to get punched in the arm rather than play a hypothetical russian roulette with 100 or even 10000 chambers in the gun and only one bullet.

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