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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 141851 Find in a Library
Journal: Journal of Prisoners on Prisons  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(1993)  Pages:5- 16
Author(s): L R Reed
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 12
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A survey of 612 convicted felons, including the author, in the Ohio Prison system supported the conclusion that liberty and justice for all is a myth rather than a reality in the United States.
Abstract: All the surveyed inmates pled either guilty or no contest to the charges for which they were ultimately sent to prison. The author committed an armed robbery of a drug store, taking measures to assure that no one would be hurt. However, he was indicted on 6 charges involving 10 counts. On the advice of his court-appointed attorney, he pled guilty to two counts and received concurrent sentences of 7 to 25 years in prison. Among the 612 inmates surveyed, 41 percent assert that they are innocent and were coerced into pleading guilty or no contest because their court-appointed attorneys refused to investigate the charges or prepare a real defense, choosing instead to encourage the inmate to cooperate with the prosecutor. Eight percent said that they were treated fairly. Fifty-one percent stated that they were guilty of some but not all of the crimes to which they pled guilty or no context. All 612 inmates were instructed by their court-appointed lawyers to state for the record, in the courtroom, that no plea bargains were made in their cases and that they were making their pleas of their own free will. Fifty-three percent received more severe sentences than they were promised in return for their pleas of guilty or no contest. Other case examples demonstrate that neither the criminal justice system nor the military justice system handle accused persons fairly. 7 references
Main Term(s): Attorney client relations; Rights of the accused
Index Term(s): Court appointed counsel; Ohio; Plea negotiations
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