Articles Posted in Appeal Waivers

Earlier this week, I saw several articles regarding police intercepting individuals trying to introduce contraband into USP Atlanta, such as this one from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

The officer was patrolling the area of New Town Circle in southeast Atlanta around 12:30 a.m. when he noticed a white Oldsmobile Alero parked near the fence surrounding the federal prison, Sgt. Greg Lyon with Atlanta police said Tuesday afternoon.
“He shined a spotlight on the vehicle,” Lyon said. “When he did so, he saw four individuals — all dressed in gray sweat pants, black hoodies and black gloves — that appeared to be up to no good.”

An editorialin yesterday’s New York Times decries appeal waivers common to federal criminal practice:

Waivers are a common but largely hidden element of plea bargains — which, in many federal cases, aren’t really bargains because the power of prosecutors is often so much greater than that of the defendants or their lawyers. The process is closer to coercion. Prosecutors regularly ‘overcharge’ defendants with a more serious crime than what actually occurred. The defendants must then choose between the risk of being found guilty at trial and getting a longer sentence than the alleged crime would warrant or a guilty plea in exchange for a lighter sentence. All but a tiny minority of defendants take the plea as the price of avoiding the crapshoot of a trial.[…]
Some standard parts of waivers are outrageous, keeping defendants from appealing even if they become convinced that they received inadequate counsel to accept a defective plea agreement where the sentence was not lighter or where the prosecutor wrongly withheld evidence. Any defense lawyer or prosecutor who asks a defendant to sign a waiver ruling out appeals on those grounds is protecting himself.
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