Plea By Agreement Disposition

The responsibility for organizing a useful conference with the accused rests duly on the shoulders of the judge. This requires “an ongoing effort on the part of the judges, with the help of counsel, to ask their questions to make them a genuine inquiry into the mental examination of the accused … This is not a “litany” but a live assessment of whether the remedy was sufficiently mediated by the defendant and whether it was not under unreasonable pressure from the defendant. Commonwealth v. Fernandes, 390 Mass. 714, 716 (1984) quotes Commonwealth v. Foster, 368 Mass. 100, 107 (1975) (added mention). The symposium should include a review of any mental illness that the accused may suffer from and whether the accused is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. See Commonwealth v. Correa, 43 Mass. App. Ct.

714, 717-718 (1997). (b) unless the court is prorogated, an offer of recourse and a recommendation of decision agreed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection are extinguished after the completion of the judgment. Except for good reason, a court cannot extend a plea and a recommendation of a decision agreed in accordance with this paragraph for a misdemeanor by more than seven days or twenty-one days. [1973 c.836 No 170; 2001 c.635 No 10; 2001 c.962 No 79; 2013 c.525 No 2; 2017 c.650 8; 2018 ca.375] Id. at 262. The Court also noted that the element of assessment inherent in accepting an admission of guilt must be assisted by safeguards in order to assure the defendant what is appropriate in the circumstances and, where a plea is invoked by promises, its nature must be known in some way. 404 U.S. 261, 262.

In response to the overburdened argument, proponents of pleading, note that the prosecutor at the discretion of the prosecution is a concept deeply rooted in American law, and for good reason. A prosecutor is not required to decide the case before trial. Instead, the prosecutor is required to lay charges on the basis of the facts and provide evidence to support the charge. In the absence of a reasonable interpretation of the facts in support of a particular indictment, the indictment is dismissed.

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