6 June 2013

Simon ups the plea bargain ante

| johnboy
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Simon Corbell has announced changes to sentencing in the ACT’s courts to encourage cooperation from our crims:

Sentencing courts will be able to impose a lower sentence where offenders assist the justice system to make sure trials are focused on the real issues in dispute, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, said today.

“We know that inefficient use of time and resources in the criminal justice system contributes to court delays,” Mr Corbell said.

“The amendments in this Bill will support and complement recent measures taken by the Government to enhance the efficient administration of matters in ACT courts.

“The Bill that I have introduced today recognises that defendants and their lawyers have an important role to play in addressing delays in the system.

Powers introduced in the Crimes (Sentencing) Amendment Bill 2013 will allow a court to impose a reduced sentence where an offender has facilitated the administration of justice. Examples of defendant conduct that may trigger a reduction include pre-trial disclosures, disclosures made during trial or otherwise, admissions, and an early indication of which elements of an offence are an issue.

The Bill ensures that if a court imposes a lesser penalty it must not be unreasonably disproportionate to the nature and circumstances of the offence.

The court will also be required to give a statement where it imposes a lesser penalty outlining the penalty it would have imposed and the reason for the lesser penalty.

While all this sounds reasonable we don’t, in my view, want to end up where they’re at in much of the USA where it’s almost impossible to be acquitted and all a defendant can do is seek to cut a deal on their guilty plea.

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Currently if one pleads guilty to an offence in the Supreme Court then they generally get a 25% reduction in the sentence.So who exactly is he targeting,cases heard in the magistrates court?

Hmmm, who defines what is the real issue in dispute?

Sounds like a nice idea, but I’m not so convinced it will work as nicely as may be intended.

obamabinladen1:45 pm 06 Jun 13

Not a bad idea!

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