Incarcerating the Innocent
Let’s say you were accused of a serious crime you did not commit. You have no witnesses for your alibi, but the police have several eyewitnesses against you. You vow to fight the charges in court even though you have no money and will have to rely on a public defender. The day before you are to head to trial and face a possible 10-year conviction, the prosecution offers you a deal. Plead to a lesser charge and you’ll be out of prison in 6 months with good time credit and parole. You’ll be a convicted felon, but you’ll be incarcerated for less than a year. Do you take the deal and plead to a crime you did not commit? Or do you risk losing it all in a jury trial and facing a mandatory decade stretch in the can if you lose?
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