The RitchieRailRoad.com Staff would like to thank John M. Richards for allowing us to copy the following information from his Facebook page: Johnny Richards
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I tried to formulate a short Rant… I said – I tried! 😦
Although we hear and read about criminal trials, the reality is that only about 5 percent actually go to trial and the balance are resolved by plea agreements.
When pleading guilty a defendant is required to ‘allocate’ before the judge — admit the crime and furnish sufficient details to satisfy the court that he is indeed guilty of the crime he is pleading guilty to.
I see in Circuit Court cases where attorneys of defendants stipulate to information which gave a basis for the charged crime based either on the accusations put forward by the Prosecuting Attorney or information presented by police officers to a grand jury during the indictment process. Generally speaking, in most cases a defendant is acknowledging either their guilt or that there seems to be sufficient evidence to potentially prove guilt in a trial. But most of the time what is actually being elucidated is actually only probable cause, not facts. However, the defendant pleads guilty and bam he is guilty of a crime he never committed to keep from going to trial and possibly avoid facing a stiffer penalty.
That would seem to be the easy way out for some folks who are easy to coerce and lack the back bone to stand against a corrupt system that could make positive change for other good folks who are also ensnared in the unjust system. Some defendants even feel they are a hero to the corrupt system and the rogue cops who are unjustly repressing their lives when they cop to such a wrongful plea.
In some cases defendants are given what is called a ‘no contest’ plea. In a no contest plea the defendant does not admit to crime or testify to the details of a crime. But, a no contest plea is still putting the defendant in the guilty bucket.
With all I have talked about so far, I will admit that what happens most of the time is all too typical of what happens in the criminal justice system across the State Of West Virginia and elsewhere in the US. Intimidation by the prosecution and incompetence by the Defense Attorneys. The defendant, frightened, most often poor, uneducated, is advised that a trial is likely to end with a conviction and a long sentence, whereas a plea will guarantee a much shorter sentence.
Oh yes, I know that one must remember that sometimes a Defendant is indeed guilty and although he pleaded not guilty from the start, he will start to look for ways to save his butt for the crimes he committed and start to make statements and formulate his own version of how the crime took place based on evidence received from the State during the discovery process.
However, if a defendant is truly not guilty he will fight to weed the system of rogue officials who have caused the wrongful charges to progress through the system. And most of the time rogue officials will violate the Professional Code of Conduct established by all Judicial Systems in the United States as well as flat-out violate Federal and State law.
Once an innocent defendant investigates and finds where the rogue official violated the Professional Code of Conduct and files a complaint with the proper authorities the rogue official soon thereafter starts to crumble and thereafter is either unwillingly recused from the case by a Judge or motions a Judge to be recused himself. Nonetheless, the violations of the code of conduct and violations of law will continue to follow the case to the end.
Once the rogue official, (let’s say in this case was prosecutor, Steven A. Jones) and he is recused from the case. The circuit court Judge, (Timothy L. Sweeney) must request the WV Prosecutor’s Institute to appoint another prosecutor to handle the case. Once the Prosecutor’s Institute appoints another prosecutor and the case has the luck of getting a prosecutor assigned to the case with integrity and strives to scrutinize all evidence and testimony against the defendant and is only interested in accepting and presenting evidence and testimony to a jury that has creditability with solid evidence to back it up, justice will prevail in the case and the wrongfully charged will be exonerated.
Simply put, a defendant who is guilty of committing crime can and will put the blame on someone else when all evidence shows he is guilty. Therefore, the guilty defendant wants to satisfy the rogue cops and will say anything to save his butt. Back to the HERO feeling, the lying defendant – State Witness feels he is a hero as he has rogue cops smiling and patting him on the back.
The ex-Rogue prosecutor when dishing out an extraordinary binding plea of only probation to already convicted felons charged and indicted on 5 felony charges had convinced himself and truly believed that no one understood he was buying false testimony with such extraordinary binding plea offers.
Maybe the Judge did not want to acknowledge this fact either, but the heavy penalties faced by such a felon likely weighed heavily on the decision to avoid that kind of exposure with placing false blame as desired by the Rogue few.
Is it too much to believe that once the new Prosecutor, (M. Paul Marteney) with a high ethical demeanor, integrity and backbone steps in, he will weed out BS and false assertions not only from police officers but call into question where the ex-prosecutor and police knowingly and willingly misinterpreted evidence and statements of alleged State Witnesses, not to mention the countless bouts of perjury presented to the grand jury where indictments were handed out.
An unbiased Prosecutor could prove the system of justice is real by causing several rogue officials to be arrested and charged with knowingly and willingly providing perjured testimony to the grand jury which is a felony and other crimes involved with the case.
I recognize that there is no avenue to absolute certainty because the knowledge of guilt or innocence lies with the defendant, but all involved must strive not to imprison the innocent.
A Rant to believe in… Peace Folks!