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Michigan General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in Michigan that do not fit into any other Michigan sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2004, 09:08 PM
Luann Luann is offline
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Default Offered a plea bargain.. Support and advice needed...

My Sweetie called me today. He was a little upset.because He had wrote a
letter to his lawyer requesting another plea bargin. They offered him 29 months in prison.. His lawyer told him he is being classified as a predator..I was told that would make him a level 4 . I don't understand how they can do that? He never touched His so called victim .. The victim was calling him and going places with him.. It makes no sense to me.. Doesn't he have any rights? What happened to innocent until proven guilty.. I need everyones support and advice to get through this.
Thank you all very much
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:31 PM
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Luann,

I gave it a title and moved it to the so forum as the folks here will be able to give you better feedback and advice... My opinion--29 months isn't that bad.... If they're threatening and follow thru with a level 4 it could be a lot longer if he's found guilty.... BUT, that's just my opinion... Have you checked out the minimum and maximum sentence of what he's being charged with? Good luck!

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:39 PM
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thx Deb,, but he isnt a sex offender..thats not even one of his crimes..
aggravated stalking . and home invasion
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:43 PM
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Sorry... I moved it to the Michigan forum.... Most of them are at the get together though so you might not hear many responses right away....

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:53 PM
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Plea bargains tend to mean he didn't take it to trial. If he didn't touch the victim and you both think he's innocent then take it to trial. Why plea to something you didn't do?

He's got rights. It doesn't seem like he's exercising them. He has the right to a fair trial!!! If he's truly innocent, then do the trial!
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:22 PM
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Im still trying to get my head around him not having a sexual crime as one of his offenses yet being labelled a sex offender/predator. Unless the aggravated stalking charge is considered one of these. That in itself is frightening. I mean does that mean any man/boy woman/girl can be labelled a sex offender/predator under the harsh conditions that apply, even ones when they have a crush and its only considered stalking when the recipient is none responsive otherwise it would be thought of as sweet. These damm laws are so broad ranged. At the present rate in the states you will all be SO's before too long. I think you need to get some things clarified. mlg78 is right he shouldnt shouldnt plea if innocent and yes he does have rights. Prayers are with you that you get the best result you possibly can.
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Old 08-28-2004, 04:31 AM
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My brother is surrounded by people who turned down a plea bargain and ended up with decades of prison! We are in Arizona where there is mandatory sentencing so that makes a huge difference. If there is no mandatory minimum sentencing, I don't know what I would do in your case. But if there is mandatory minimums in your state, I think you should seriously consider accepting the plea.

One young man, innocent as your man is, didn't want to accept a plea. He got 200 years!

Good luck in your decision. It is a tough one, that is for sure.

What does his lawyer recommend?
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:41 AM
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Luanna I'm sorry that the system is doing this to the two of you. Are they giving him a title as a predator because of the stalking?!!! It is such a gamble!! I'm not sure if I would go to trial!!! Sometimes they don't work out and the jury might beleave the victim... Is the lawyer Court appointed? In all reality 29 months is not to bad but what is the tail of the sentence that is what would get me to really decide what to do?!!! I will keep you guys in my thoughts!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:52 AM
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My husband is innocent and I wish he would have pled as does he now. The sweetest deal he was offered would have had him home in less than a year and was a misdemeanor. We have played the appeals game since he was found guilty with no evidence.... We win-prosecution side wins etc... Each side appeals when they lose... He was home for over a year when his case was thrown out and the guilty decision reversed. The prosection appealed and he had to go back in after they won.... We continue in this chess game. This started in 1998. We have sunk thousands into attorneys and appeal attorneys. We have won one law suit against our first attorneys. It didn't put a dent in the amount we have paid out in legal costs and all the other costs associated with incarceration financial and other.....

This is the only reason I said what I said. Our system does not extend the same rights to the defense as it does the prosection side. Our system does not ensure a fair trial anymore.

Just think it thru from all angles.... Good luck!

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Old 08-28-2004, 08:28 AM
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hi everyone
thx for the responses.. I think they are calling him a predator because of the agravated stalking. He will most likely go to trial. He asked them to offer a plea.. just to see if it was something he would condsider. He doesnt want to do 29 months.. I pray he isnt making a mistake taking it to trial. His Lawyer warned him.. the jury would probably take the victims side, and he would go to prison for a lot of years.. He is also a habitual offender (drugs and parole violations)
thanks again
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:38 AM
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Ya know Luann, this is real sad. Because his Lawyer is probably right. If he takes this to trial, he'll probably be found guilty and do many more years then 29 months. I would almsot have to urge him to take the plea. I'm sorry to have to say that, but that's how this sytem works. All they care about is someone goes to prison for something.

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Old 08-29-2004, 09:01 AM
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usually in NJ when u accept a plea your also getting your charges turned into a lesser charge
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Old 08-29-2004, 11:42 AM
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luann,

mr. D would tell him to take the plea and I agree. 29 months is a GREAT deal. In this state he doesn't stand much of a chance up against a female victim, no matter what the circumstances, no matter if hes innocent or not.
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Old 08-29-2004, 05:44 PM
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Is the 29 months the ERD or is it just 29 months and out? Just wondering...
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Old 08-29-2004, 07:19 PM
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denim is right... he also needs to make sure he has that plea bargain in WRITING in case the judge does something different!
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Old 08-29-2004, 07:37 PM
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I used to think that when you are innocent you fight... I no longer think that way. Things are stacked against you sometimes, and while I would hate to have a record for something I did not do it is a small comfort to know you fought hard for yourself and wouldn't take a plea for something you did not do.... but you lost because you couldn't fight a system that is not fair. No one else but you and your loved ones will have to sleep in separate places, walk with no hand to hold, have expensive phone bills just to hear your voice, miss out on holidays, not be there when you need them, and what about when there is a crisis and you can't be there.... think on these things...please. The most important thing isn't your name or your reputation anymore... anyone can slander you at any given time whether you are innocent or not. What is important is who you are and who you love and having the chance to grow old with them.
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Old 08-30-2004, 09:05 AM
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I went to see him at the jail yesterday. I talked to him about my concerns, but he is determined to go to trial.. He's stubborn.. I will probably be a basket case .. around the 8th of Sept.. Thanks again everyone
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Old 08-30-2004, 09:55 AM
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Luann,

My husband was also falsely accused of this heinous crime. The charge can carry life in prison and took a deal instead. The mother of the alleged victim and the alleged victim ( a person he was NEVER alone with) had a crush on my husband and the mother really had something happen to her when she was a teenager (mother's boyfriend assaulted her, but she was not believed).

This mother went to all the news TV stations and the newspapers ( she was/is crazy) but because this is such a witch hunt and the judges and lawyers and the system makes their way up (promotions and votes) by prosecuting for this crime, NOBODY cares if you are innocent. They want the public to believe they have put away a bad person, so "vote for me". It is very sad, you can type in 'false accusations' under google and get loads of information on how corrupt the system is.

Also you are GUITLY, GUILTY, GUILTY, with this crime. Several of your rights are taken away once you are accused of this crime. You are never allowed to confront your accuser, and many other of your civil rights are taken away from you.

Find out what the minimum and maximum would be if he were to go to trial and lose.

The media has the public so scared that EVERY man out there is a predator and rapist and whatever so if they are accused the MUST be guilty.

It is a very scary place to be, God bless you and good luck.

If you have a very good lawyer, ask them what they think, can you win, (if you go in front of a jury, THEY PICK people that are already predjudiced) if you have a public defender ( who doesn't care) take the plea would be my advice. It is not polite or politically correct to hate a person due to the color of their skin, or because of their religion, or because of where they come from, but EVERYONE hates men who are accused of this crime.

Sorry if I rambled on, but we have just gone through 4 years of this hell.

But, I hope my ramblings have helped in some way.
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:16 AM
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Deb, the prosecution can appeal after the defendant is found not guilty?! I'm blown away. I'd always heard that a person can't be tried twice for the same crime. As years went by I learned the exceptions. A guy can be tried in a criminal court, then in a civil court for the same crime. He can be tried by the state, then again by the feds for the same crime. He can be tried and have a deadlocked jury and be tried again for the same crime. But this! I'm floored. There IS such thing as double jeopardy?
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Old 08-30-2004, 05:42 PM
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Mary,

This blew me away when it happened to us too. I thought it would be double jeopardy. But, yes when he was put to not guilty and the case thrown out and came home the att gen (granholm) appealed and they won so he was put back to guilty and had to go back in... It's not considered double jeopardy.... Our system is not what we all thought at all... Oh, and get this--they could have also ordered a whole new trial and retried him and we start at the beginning--isn't that double jeopardy as well? I would have thought so...

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Old 08-30-2004, 10:53 PM
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This thread really struck a nerve with me.... I couldn't agree with Deb more. I wish now my son had taken the plea. But, we believed in his innocence and we were trying to save his reputation and career. His attorney was "so" confident he talked us into a bench trial instead of a jury (huge mistake). Just remember the defence attorney gets paid more if it goes to trial, so what do you think his advice is going to be? Thousands of dollars latter, and from what we have been told since, some very poor representation and now my son is in prison. I have formed a very poor opinion of our justice system. I was even summoned to jury duty about 6 months after my son's trial. You can just imagine how long they kept me in the Jurors box! I told the judge exactly how I felt! Its a darn shame that taking a plea to something you didn't do is better than going to trial and risking a whole lot more. I wish you luck!
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:40 PM
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Yeah, it's genuinely frightening that people are coerced into copping. Anyone see the two-hour Frontline feature called The Plea? Ninety-five per cent of felony convictions are secured through plea bargains. The choices offered are no choices at all---go to trial and run the risk of thirty years or plead and take five.

Deb, sorry to be dense but I'm not quite there yet. When atty gen Granholm appealed Bill's verdict, didn't that by definition mean holding a new trial? An appeal is another shot at it, isn't it? I'm still busy being floored that he was found not guilty and then imprisoned again but now there's this whole other issue. It's the word appeal that has me so confused. Is it another way of saying the verdict was overturned? Was there no new trial, just a not guilty verdict and a squawk from Granholm and back he went? I know that no criminal procedure is simple to explain. There are always writs, petitions, motions, denials, postponements. But is that essentially what happened, he was found not guilty and without a new trial he was back in?
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Old 08-31-2004, 03:03 AM
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i would urge him to think this over seriously. they are offering him 29 mos up against how many yrs. if found guilty by a jury of his peers. have u looked up what the sentencing guidelines are for aggravated stalking in your state? not to mention what he could be sentenced to as a habitual offender? if it were me, i'd opt for the plea bargain....rosi
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:25 AM
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Mary,

There was no new trial. That was at the Michigan Supreme Court level that this happened. No trial and no hearing. They read the briefs from each side and made a decision. The Supreme Court in Michigan is very conservative at this point in time and so we did not appeal that decision to them and instead skipped them and appealed to the Fed District Court and here we have sat for over 2 1/2 years.... "Fast and Speedy......" Now, it's all up to ONE judge. No hearing. He reads it when he gets around to it as there is no time frame. He was assigned the case in August of 2002 and all briefs were in to this court 6 months before that.

To me, appeal means "we don't agree with the decision and here's why" and we or they have to back up the decision with case law etc...

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Old 08-31-2004, 05:49 AM
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I didn't have time to read thru everyone's repsones, but I got a decent way through. I just wanted to say that many ppl are right about this. If he doesn't plea and he does go to trial, the jury/judge will mostly likely take her side, and he'll get a mega amount of time. Carl's plea was for a 19-38 months, we went to trial. At sentencing he got 17 1/2 - 25 years. Trust me, we wish we would've pled out.
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