Fault Lines
19 January 2019

Trial Tax or Plea Discount? | Between the Lines

Feb 4 2016 (Mimesis Law) – Lee sit downs with Ken Womble to discuss Fault Lines writer Andrew King’s assertion that what is often seen as a “Trial Tax” for taking your case to court, is actually more of a “Plea Discount” for bypassing the trail process all together.

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  • Richard G. Kopf
    4 February 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Lee and Ken,

    Great work. Loved it.

    By the way Ken, in the federal system if you plead you get a 3-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility. The theory is that a person who takes responsibility for his or her conduct is less likely to recidivate. Furthermore, given the very tough sentences handed down under the Guidelines, the lack of such a discount can provide a perverse incentive for a guy who is indisputably guilty to force a trial just for the sport of it–what do I have to lose? Thus, the “acceptance of responsibility” discount counters those who would otherwise have no good reason for demanding a trial.

    All the best.


    • Ken Womble
      4 February 2016 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Yeah, it is fascinating to see the difference in discovery process among the various jurisdictions, both federal and state. My partner came back to the office today after he was finally served the radio run recordings that are a torpedo to the state’s case. Months after arraignment, but on the eve of trial. Not in a New York minute.

  • Local Prosecutors Can Handle Cop Prosecutions Just Fine
    10 February 2016 at 9:23 am - Reply

    […] And there are certainly issues such as misuse of Tasers that warrant further discussion. Yet, like blaming plea bargains for long sentences and wrongful convictions, blaming prosecutors for the statutory and constitutional legal protections that police officers […]