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  #1  
Old 03-01-2013, 09:38 PM
Amecia Amecia is offline
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Default Do Snitches have Legal Recourse?

I was talking to my hubby tonight and he mentioned something about snitches and how they are so hated in jail/prison and it made me think about something. So let's say an inmate makes a deal with the DA to snitch and in exchange, he/she will be released and/or his/her charges dismissed. So the inmate holds his/her end of the bargain and the DA doesn't. Does the inmate have any legal recourse? Or is he/she pretty much hooped?
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:49 PM
OnTheMissions OnTheMissions is offline
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If the inmate came forward, it'd make the DA look really bad. Have you read this USA TODAY artcle, "Federal Prisoners Use Snitching for Personal Gain"?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...-sale/1762013/
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:35 PM
Amecia Amecia is offline
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I'm just looking at it from an ethical point of view and also a business point of view. Technically the snitch and the DA enter into a contract. Out here in the world, if one of the parties backs out of the contract, they can be sued for breach of contract. So in this case, does the snitch have any recourse or its just "tough luck"?
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:40 PM
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Was it written in the plea deal that everyone signed off on? That being asked, I believe that Judges do not have to accept any plea deal that is presented to them.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:07 PM
Amecia Amecia is offline
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Its just a hypothetical question. I don't know how these things work. Is there a difference in the possible recourse if everyone signed up on it as opposed to someone who just snitches without a signed deal?
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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Judges don't have to accept any old plea deal placed before them, but there has to be a compelling reason for them to turn down a plea. A hatred for snitches is not compelling reasons.

Here's why Prosecutors won't backout on their plea deals: it'll be too hard to get people to come forward and testify. If I've done wrong nd I'm placed on the stand to testify against somebody else knowing full well that the Prosecutor's word isn't worth the air used to utter it, I'm just going to take the 5th.

As a Defense attorney, I'm going to get the agreement in writing BEFORE my guy testifies in court. Failure to place that agreement in writing will result in me advising my client to claim the 5th.

If my guy is going to do prison time despite testifying, I'll be making sure he goes to different prison (maybe in a different state) under an assumed name, if his life is in jeopardy as a result of testifying.

Let's also face it; there are a ton of "snitches" in prison. In any co-conspiratory relationship, the first guy to spill the beans usually gets the best deal, and that happens all the time. So the idea that snitch is the lowest of the low is pretty much bunk. You start testifying outside of your case, it's a different matter.

Now as to recourse; if you cooperate with the police, tell them everything, you're not getting a deal. The police can "put a good word" in for you with the Prosecutor, but it is meaningless, and you won't get a better deal, and you will have no grounds to protest - police are allowed to lie.

You get your deal in writing and the Prosecutor goes back on it, you pull your plea. Make the whole case go to trial, the judge knowing full well that his trial schedule was taken up by a case that was settled but the Prosecutor backed out on the deal. Your attorney lets the prosecutor's boss know that that prosecutor backs out on deals, and that prosecutor's days with the state are numbered. After all, there's not enough time to clog a judge's calendar with a bunch of trials that didn't need to happen if the prosecutor kept his word.

Further, there's the argument that Speedy Trial was not tolled because the Prosecutor went back on his word. Anything that benefits the Defendant usually tolls Speedy. Anything that doesn't benefit the Defendant counts towards that Speedy demand. So, if we have a deal, a few months later, I testify in accordance with our contract, and a month or so later, I go to sentencing AND the Prosecutor asks for the full bot or more time than I'd agreed to, we pull the plea. Because all of that time spent readying for the other person's trial now counts towards Speedy, chances are my guy's walking on a Speedy violation.

there are probably other routes I can go as a Defense attorney in making beef to the bar, but let me deal with that one.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:23 PM
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OK this is gonna sound really silly but who signs the deal? The accused or defence counsel?
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amecia View Post
OK this is gonna sound really silly but who signs the deal? The accused or defence counsel?
in the states? the accused. But, only after review by the Defense counsel, unless the accused feels like ignoring defense counsel.
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