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Attempt to make plea deal may have resulted in longer sentence

The former purchasing director of Orleans Parish Prison was sentenced to five years in prison concerning an alleged kickback scheme. This individual's criminal defense attorney claims that the sentence was unduly harsh, and that witness cooperation to stop supposed public corruption likely led to an unjust sentence.

The man who was arrested apparently cooperated with prosecutors concerning investigation into this matter. It was felt that by such cooperation he would be given a better sentence. Instead, the judge in this matter handed down a sentence that went beyond what even the prosecution had requested.

The problem with many plea deals is that judges simply do not accept them. However, the individual charged may be led to believe by prosecuting attorneys that he will receive a more favorable sentence if cooperation is forthcoming. On the other hand, if an individual does not cooperate prosecuting attorneys may pursue a far more severe sentence.  The person charged loses under almost any circumstance.  

It's for this reason that individuals charged with crimes hire on criminal defense attorneys that are familiar with the prosecutors and judges involved. Such an attorney can at least assess the risks of making a deal with a prosecutor only to possibly see such a deal overturned.

Such deals are common when it comes to charges of white-collar crime. Many individuals are attempting to cut deals to reduce their sentences, and sometimes the cutting of a deal can be interpreted by a judge as an admission of guilt. And some individuals are in even greater danger of being unjustly accused or sentenced because there are others trying to reduce their own sentence by testifying against someone else.

Unfortunately, an individual may end up spending years more in prison due to the whims of prosecutors or judges when attempted deals are made.

Source: Fox 8, "Former Orleans purchasing director gets five years, attorney chagrined," Rob Masson, July 3, 2013

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