I recently watched a documentary about our legal system. One of the things they said is that most of the time we do not go to trial. They stated that most criminal legal matters are resolved through “plea bargaining.”
Let’s say that you commit a crime which has a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, okay? Well, the government will threaten to charge you with way more that would potentially send you away for the next 40 years! Holy crap, that’s horrifying, right?
They are not stupid and know you will fight for your life, so they use a sneaky little tool that they have at their disposal: “The Plea Bargain.” They know you are terrified at the prospect of spending the next 40 years in prison, so they offer you a plea deal that if you accept, will have you doing 1 year behind bars followed by probation.
Put yourself in the position of the accused, let’s say you are a young black man, you’ve never done anything wrong, but you are keenly aware of how our biased “system” works. Even if you know that you are 100% innocent, they make it so bad for you that you don’t even want to take the risk of going to a jury trial.
Juries are not known for treating young black men all that well, I should know, I’ve sat on a couple. In fact, I’d argue that I was instrumental in keeping a black young man out of a lengthy prison term! I fought really hard on his behalf as did some of my peers, but some of those people wanted to crucify him! “He’s guilty, why was he there? He’s guilty.” One dude was adamant about it, and he really pissed us off. I gave him hell until he folded to our will.
So being aware of that reality, in order to preserve some of your life, you then take the plea bargain for 1 year, rather than risk going to trial and risking 40 years. By you pleading guilty to a lesser charge you “get off easier,” the prosecution gets a conviction, and in their eyes “everybody wins.” It’s a terrible system, one that has put many innocent people behind bars.
Sometimes though, this jacked up system works in favor of the criminals. This strengthens my point that it is a terrible system. Below is the news report of an Airman who was having sexual relations with a 14 year old runaway. If you read the last line, you’ll see that he “plead down” to a lesser charge to avoid going to trial. For his “plea” efforts the son of a bitch will only serve 1 year in prison and then he’ll be on probation. That same system which has incarcerated so many innocent people (POC) is being used to keep someone (white) from getting the prison term they deserve.
The New York Post reports the following:
An airman stationed at Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base has pleaded guilty to raping and endangering a runaway 14-year-old girl.
WDEL-FM reports 22-year-old Zepplin Ray Taylor-McGinness was sentenced Friday to a year in prison, followed by probation.
Dover Police M. Cpl. Mark Hoffman has said authorities were contacted in November 2017 by the girl’s guardian who learned the girl was staying at a local apartment complex. Officers went to the complex and found the teen and then 21-year-old Taylor-McGinness.
A joint investigation by the police and Air Force Office of Special Investigations revealed Taylor-McGinness had allegedly engaged in sex acts with the girl multiple times.
He was originally charged with multiple counts of second-degree rape and child endangerment. He pleaded guilty Friday to fourth-degree rape and child endangerment.