Florida – Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors

By Richard A. Oppel, Jr. – Star News – Published: Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 3:30 a.m. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties. Some experts say the process has become coercive in many state and federal jurisdictions, forcing defendants to weigh their options based on the relative risks of facing a judge and jury rather than simple matters of guilt or innocence. In effect, prosecutors are giving defendants more reasons to avoid having their day in court. “We now have an incredible concentration of power in the hands of prosecutors,” said Richard E. Myers II, a former assistant United States attorney who is now…[For full story:  http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20110925/ZNYT02/109253019?p=1&tc=pg ]

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Florida – Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors

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