Ethical and Legal Implications in the Plea Bargain

Topics: Law, Criminal law, Plea Pages: 1 (344 words) Published: March 2, 2015
The ethical and legal implications involved in the plea bargain offered to Paul Hayes, was that of the prosecuting lawyer. Paul Hayes committed a criminal act that involved the possession and forging of a bad check. The defendant was offered a 5-year sentence by the prosecutor, plea bargain, in exchange for a guilty plea for the crime committed. If Mr. Hayes did not accept the plea bargain offered, then the prosecutor would charge Mr. Hayes as a habitual felon under the Kentucky’s three-strike law. Being that Mr. Hayes has two prior felony charges, the Habitual Criminal Act would include the maximum sentence of life in prison. The prosecutor did not receive a guilty plea from Mr. Hayes. As a result, Mr. Hayes was sentenced to life in prison because of his decision to have his case heard by a jury. Mr. Hayes appealed his case in many courts, which resulted in all of his appeals being denied. Hayes felt as if the prosecutor tried to coerce him to plead guilty, but yet, threaten him at the same time. The possibility of Mr. Hayes’s constitutional rights being violated was another issue included in his appeal. The ethical and legal implications that were perceived of the prosecuting lawyer was the (1) trying to force a coercion of a guilty plea, and (2) charging defendant with a higher charge than the original charge stated (habitual felon). Even though these factors became an issue within the Paul Hayes case, these were options that were offered to the defendant beforehand. The defendant had a choice to accept the plea bargain deal of five years in prison, but chose to have his case heard by a jury and was sentenced to life in prison. Many individuals would consider this a legal or ethical implication because of the outcome of the case, without regards to the choice that Paul Hayes chose. Reference:

Bmaz (2013, June 21). Aaron Swartz, Plea Leveraging & The Bordenkircher Problem. Retrieved from...
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