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Power and Prosecutors September 27, 2011

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

Julie Stewart, President of FAMM, has this message:

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been indicted that prosecutors have enormous power.  Yesterday, the New York Times ran an excellent article that highlighted this unintended consequence of mandatory minimums.

The article notes that one result of the increase in prosecutorial power is the so-called “trial penalty.” Defendants are offered relatively shorter sentences in exchange for a guilty plea, or they face significantly longer penalties if they maintain their innocence and exercise their constitutionally-protected right to a trial by jury.  Unfortunately, this “choice” is one far too many FAMM members are familiar with.

Among them is FAMM member Lee Wollard, whose case we gave to the New York Times reporter.  Wollard’s decision to take his case to trial resulted in a 20-year mandatory minimum prison sentence under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, even though prosecutors originally offered him five years probation if he would plead guilty. You can read about Wollard’s case here and read an op-ed I wrote about it last summer for the Washington Times here.

Circulate this New York Times article widely – everyone in the country should read it!




1. sharon - October 20, 2011

I am so glad we have FAMM!