Plea deals are a reality in our criminal justice system and allow our courts to process countless cases without time consuming and costly trials. However, a growing number of people take issue with the fact that the plea deals are often being used to either skirt more serious charges, or shelter otherwise innocent suspects from the risk of a criminal trial. Cleveland.com recently reported on the prevalent plea deal atmosphere in our judicial system and spoke with Attorney Ian Friedman for his take on what is becoming a controversial legal topic.
In the piece "Should Ohio ban judges from allowing plea deals that are 'lies'?," Attorney Friedman shared his concern that plea deal rules fail to address the complexity of navigating these cases to a resolution—and the accused's guilt or innocence. "[They] fail to recognize what a majority of these cases are, which is a gray area," Friedman said. "They are not all black and white."
Attorney Friedman also reiterated that plea deals are not decided by lawyers and prosecutors, but ultimately judges and that they are responsible for determining if a plea deal is appropriate. Like other Cleveland criminal defense attorneys Cleveland.com spoke to, Friedman said that some clients—even innocent ones—would rather live with a conviction than put their future in the hands of a jury, something that should always be considered by the judge.
Looking Out for the Client
Friedman also revealed that plea deals can be valuable for his criminal defense clients as an indication of the strength of the state's case. He told Cleveland.com that for many of his sex offense cases, a plea deal is often entered. If the prosecution is cooperative, there is likely an issue with their case.
Still, the plea deal climate remains a weighty issue for both defense attorneys and prosecutors. According to Attorney Friedman, lawyers and prosecutors who carefully examine both sides of a case can ensure that plea deals are appropriate and fair to the accused.
Ian N. Friedman, Attorney at Law is a premiere Cleveland criminal defense lawyer who has defended clients all over the country. A sought-after litigator and legal resource, he brings a track record of aggressive, emphatic counsel to each one of his cases and ensures that his clients are navigated to the best possible conclusion.
If you have been accused of a crime, get the advocacy you need. Contact our firm today.