Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court Expands Defendant’s Rights In Plea Deals

In both the federal and state court systems, 9 out of 10 cases end up in a plea bargain, wiping out the notion of your “day in court”.  Both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are no different. We know families with loved ones serving long prison sentences, had their children taken away, or ended up in deportation proceedings because of a plea bargain gone wrong.  But the Supreme Court ruled this week that defendants have a right to competent counsel during the plea bargaining phase of the criminal justice system.  This ruling honestly is a little surprising, because you’d think effective assistance of counsel should extend to all phases of the justice system already.  But this seals the clarity once and for all.  Submission post by Charisse Domingo

Supreme Court expands defendant’s rights in plea deals

In two 5-4 decisions, the Supreme Court rules that defendants in criminal cases have a constitutional right to a competent lawyer’s advice when deciding whether to accept a plea deal.

By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
Los Angeles Times
March 21, 2012

Reporting from Washington—

Defendants in criminal cases have a constitutional right to a competent lawyer’s advice when deciding whether to accept a plea bargain, the Supreme Court ruled, providing a significant expansion of rights that could have a broad impact on the justice system. Continue reading

ACJP Organizer Blanca Bosquez Explains Coerced Pleas on Gene Burn’s KGO Radio Show

Blanca Bosquez

ACJP organizer Blanca Bosquez was on widely listened to 810 KGO’s Gene Burn’s Show on Friday August 19th regarding the criminal justice system. Click here and listen to Blanca respond to Burn’s statement that he would, “Never take a plea if he didn’t commit the crime.” Blanca changes Burn’s position after explaining the coercive nature of the justice system, that there are innocent people that take pleas because of the time that have been incarcerated, and the threat of excessively long sentences. She also speaks to the injustices she witnessed with her own son’s case, who was falsely charged with a crime and coerced during police interrogation as a juvenile. Listen to Blanca break it down from the 33 minute mark to the 38 minute mark. By the end of the conversation, Burn’s says such travesties in the law are “frightening”and that we all “need to be vigilant, since people are so mistreated.” Great job Blanca!