Facing jail time at sentencing is a scary prospect for almost everyone. However, the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC, has used its years of experience to put together information that could prove important for those facing incarceration at the Oakland County Jail (OCJ) or other local jails:
In The Justice System, Prosecutors have an enormous amount of discretion in a criminal case. As a former prosecutor in the State of New York, and the Federal System in Detroit, I had the ability to decide who should be charged with a crime, what felony and misdemeanor charges should be filed, and when charges would be filed. Like all prosecutors, I also had the ability to negotiate plea bargains, dismiss charges, and recommend downward departures at sentencing. However, prosecutors cannot engage in conduct that amounts to selective or vindictive prosecution. For ethical prosecutors, this is not a problem. Unfortunately, some prosecutors cross the line. A recent google search for "prosecutorial misconduct cases" yielded over 150,000 results in .28 seconds.
In the Justice System, sentencing, and mandatory minimums for federal offenders are hot topics again. In March, 2013 Democratic Senator Patrick J. Leahy and Republican Senator Rand Paul introduced the Safety Valve Act of 2013. If the bill becomes law, it will allow federal judges to sentence offenders facing mandatory minimum sentences to less time in prison, regardless of the crime charged, provided that doing so does not jeopardize public safety. This does not mean that federal judges will be required to sentence offenders below the mandatory minimum, it merely permits judges to do so when the mandatory minimum sentence is unreasonable and does not fulfill the legislature's goals of punishment.
In the Justice System in America, it is generally not criminal to fail to render asssitance to an adult who could use your help. However, recently in California a nurse employed at an independent living facility, refused to provide CPR to a dying elderly woman because the facility had a policy against administering CPR to its members. Although the facility maintains that its members were fully aware of its no-CPR policy, police have opened a criminal investigation to determine whether any criminal charges should be filed.
When you think of Teenage and Juvenile Crime it is important to remember that the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for states to sentence juveniles offenders convicted of murder to mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.