Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Plea: Interview With a Judge

While we wait to see if Harlow Cuadra and/or Joseph Kerekes choose to make a deal with the Luzerne County District Attorney's office, I thought I'd post a link to an interesting interview done by PBS with a criminal court judge in Harris County (Houston), Texas.

In the interview, he talks about the plea bargain's vital role in the criminal justice system and how the plea process works in his courtroom, and he describes his own role as a judge. While he defends pleas, he acknowledges that the vital "human element" is required to guarantee that the system works correctly: "Plea bargaining only works if you have experienced, competent defense attorneys, experienced, competent prosecutors, and a judge who will make sure this is done properly."

While this clearly isn't a judge from Luzerne County, it does give some interesting insight to how I'm sure most judges probably feel towards a defendent accepting a plea: