Showing posts from December, 2020

New Article re Carlos Ghosn Case Includes Discussion of Plea Bargaining

The Asia-Pacific Journal has published a piece discussing the Carlos Ghosn case. While the entire investigation, prosecution, and flight from Japanese authorities is interesting, this particular piece also contains discussion of plea bargaining. As noted in the article, the prosecution of Ghosn stems, at least in part, from two Nissan employees reporting his alleged misconduct in hopes of receiving leniency under Japan's relatively new plea bargaining law. The piece goes on to compare criminal laws and procedures in Japan and the United States, including the use of pressure to induce admissions. From the article: Another striking similarity between Japan and the U.S. concerns the use of pressure to produce admissions of guilt. In both countries, protections for defendants on trial are relatively robust, but in the pretrial process much pressure is brought to bear on suspects to help the state obtain convictions... Interrogation in Japan has been the subject of much good research i

Federal Appeals Court Opinion Discusses Wired Pleas and Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Those interested in case law regarding plea bargaining will want to take a look at the recent case of United States v. Melvin Knight (United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Decided December 8, 2020).  The entire opinion is available here .  The case involves interesting issues surrounding "wired pleas," the trial penalty, ineffective assistance of counsel, and the remedies available to co-defendants when the 6th Amendment is violated.  From the case:  In 2013, Melvin Knight and Aaron Thorpe were arrested for armed robbery and kidnapping.  They were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the D.C. Superior Court and offered a generous plea deal by the Assistant U.S. Attorney: plead guilty to a single count of assault with a dangerous weapon and no further charges stemming from these crimes would be filed.  Under the D.C. Superior Court Sentencing Guidelines, the likely sentences would be between two and six years for each defendant.  The plea off