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When I was in private practice, I worked mostly in federal court, where Alford pleas are vanishingly rare.
It turned out to be a little longer than I intended, so my apologies for that. Generally, an Alford plea is when a defendant maintains his innocence but admits that the state has sufficient evidence to convict him and agrees to be treated as guilty.
The defendant in that case was charged with first-degree murder. The evidence against him was strong: Alford maintained his innocence, but in light of the evidence, agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in order to avoid the death penalty and secure a year sentence.
The Supreme Court reversed. An individual accused of crime may voluntarily, knowingly, and understandingly consent to the imposition of a prison sentence even if he is unwilling or unable to admit his participation in the acts constituting the crime. Finally, the Court indicated that individual states are free to prohibit, by statute, guilty pleas without admissions of guilt.
Unlike no contest pleas, which require the consent of the prosecutor and the judge, G. There is some dispute about whether, and under what circumstances, a judge has the inherent authority to reject the use of an Alford plea; a leading commentator suggests that judges typically should permit them.
Generally, an Alford plea has the same consequences as any other guilty plea. In fact, an Alford plea has some serious disadvantages compared to a standard guilty plea. For example, it may provide a basis for denying the defendant the mitigating factor of acceptance of responsibility under G.
So why do so many defendants enter Alford pleas? My sense is that there are two reasons, one psychological, and one legal.
The psychological reason is that a defendant who has consistently maintained his innocence — to officers, to his loved ones, to his lawyers, and perhaps to himself — simply may find it more palatable to plead guilty without also admitting that his earlier denials were false.
The legal reason is that a defendant may view an Alford plea as providing some advantage in any subsequent civil litigation arising out of the crime. By contrast, no contest pleas, because they do not involve an admission by the defendant, generally are not admissible.
What about Alford pleas? Different jurisdictions differ regarding the effect of such pleas in a later civil suit. As far as I can tell, the law in North Carolina has not yet been settled. Gaston County, N. Am I missing anything here? Defense lawyers, are there other reasons why you recommend, or your clients want, Alford pleas?
Prosecutors, do you ever condition plea offers on the defendant not entering an Alford plea? Judges, do these pleas give you any heartburn?Knapp & Roberts Pro Bono Trial Victory — Jury Awards $3,, In Wrongful Death Case.
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Case The North Face, Inc 1 Auditors should not insist that their clients accept all proposed audit adjustments even those that have an “immaterial” effect on the given set of financial statements. CASE Executives of The North Face, Inc., faced a troubling dilemma during the s.
1 For decades, those executives had struggled to develop and maintain an exclusive brand name for their company’s extensive line of outdoor apparel and . Ac Advanced Auditing Unit 2 Case Study Unit 2: Case Study - The North Face, Inc. Julia Harmon AC – Advanced Auditing Unit 2: Case Study – The North Face, Inc.