1. judiver03
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    judiver03 New Member

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    Legal Procedure Assistance

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by judiver03, Sep 6, 2012.

    I have written a work of fiction about a serial killer. AT the end he is apprehended and there is irrefutable DNA evidence to his guilt. However, he does not want to be convicted unless he can take his accomplice with him. Would there be a trial if he admits to being guilty but claims he wasn't the mastermind? Would he still be tried if he was trying only to reduce his sentence from first degree murder to voluntary manslaughter? His accomplice claims she had no hand in the crime.
     
  2. ...
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    No trial if he admits to being guilty... but he cannot pick and choose his charges. he must go not guilty to murder and hope that the prosecution (the crown or DA, whatever) drops a plea bargain.

    If i were you i'd do a google search on plea bargaining. it is possible to get a reduced sentence by informing on somebody else and claiming them to be the mastermind even if they are not. However you need to make sure everything ties in nicely... there has to be sufficient evidence on the other person.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The District Attorney decides whether it is to the State's benefit to proceed with the expense and risk of a trial. If he admits to the facts but denies complete responsibility, that is cause for the D.A. to reject the plea and force a trial. Also, no agreement by a defendant will exempt another party from prosecution for the same crime.

    Find a District Attorney and see if he or she has time to explain how the D.A.'s office operates. They are elected officials, and therefore they may want some positive publicity, or at least interest in what they do.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If there is strong evidence of his guilt, such as the DNA evidence, there would be a trial unless he agreed to plead guilty, usually in exchange for either a lesser charge and therefore a shorter sentence, or the prosecutor agrees not to ask for the death penalty or something. If the evidence is that strong, the D.A. might not be interested in giving him a lesser charge or asking for a lesser sentence.
    In order to agree to a lesser charge, despite the strong evidence, the DA would have to really be firmly convinced that the accomplice was the true mastermind. As a practical matter, the prosecutor isn't going to give up an almost certain conviction on a strong charge for a possible conviction of someone a lot of people aren't convinced was the true killer. You're dealing with not just the legal procedures, but political considerations as well in a case like that.
     
  5. Marcus_Geiser_Sr
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    Marcus_Geiser_Sr New Member

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    In my mind first and foremost no DA in the country will plea bargin a serial killer to a lesser charge. The best they can hope for is death penalty off the table. In Pa the judge can still refuse to accept a plea agreement and force a trial.

    Look at the meaning of First degree muder it is an intentional act with premeditation.

    Murder charges in Pa go First, Second, and Third Degree. Each has a different level of premeditation, violence, and circumstances. Second may be a crime of passion, third may be a DUI where someone is killed.

    Voluntary Manslaughter is for lack of better words an opps homicide. Doing something that is obviously dangerous and possibly deadly to a reasonable person. Voluntary Manslaughter will often be the result of a plea for a DUI where a death occurs.

    Also according to Pa sentencing guidelines 1st or 2nd Degree will be Life, 3rd will result in like a 10-20 year sentence, and Voluntary Manslaughter may be 3 years. Another consideration is that Involuntary Manslaughter for a person with no record and a good lawyer would most likely result in lengthy probation or a year or two.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They might if they know their case is weak. Better incarceration on a lesser charge than a repeat murderer going free because the state could not meet the burden of proof in the eyes of the jury.
     
  7. Marcus_Geiser_Sr
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    Marcus_Geiser_Sr New Member

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    @ Cogito I agree with your statement. The thing is a serial killer is a different type of case. Along with the irrefutable DNA evidence the only plea that would seem realistic in my mind which is not a trained legal professional mind is consecutive life sentences for information about co conspirator. Keep in mind a serial killer is a sociopath and will not stop until caught. Even then will not fully comprehend that what they are doing is wrong or they will not feel anything about what they did. Again I am not a trained psychologist either. These are just my observations from T.V., movies, and some research.
     

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