Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alternative View To A Plea, (part II)

Please pardon the interruption of "Basis In Fact, I'm Not Biased,You," but I thought it was important to share with you the existence of the Implicit Association Test" or (IAT). If you missed the post or you're just joining us you can click the link to catch up to speed.
When we closed the first part of this topic we had discussed what a demand was, and with that taken care of we can now turn to a plea vs. a prayer.  I shared with you that a plea has several definitions. A plea is defined as: 1. a legal suit or action, 2. an allegation made by a party in support of a cause; as (a) an allegation of fact (b) (1): a defendants answer to a plaintiff's declaration in common-law practice (2) an accused person's answer to a charge or indictment in criminal practice (c)  a plea of guilty to an indictment.

The judicial system within the United States of America, especially the criminal side, emphasizes the definition of "a plea of guilty to an indictment." Why?  Aren't we all innocent until proven guilty?  Yes that's true, in a criminal matter we are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
 But, there in lies the catch.  Many may have noticed the litigation in America has become very expensive, and the criminal justice system has been converted into a system of settlements and compromises to defray expenses. So what ends up happening is that most cases result in the plea bargain. In this process a defendant says that he or she is guilty of some charge, which is usually a lesser charge than he or she would face if they went to trial.  But what happens if the person is innocent or the prosecution lacks evidence to prove guilt and the matter is dismissed?

If a matter is dismissed according to the legal encyclopedia Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) Vol. 54 Section 45 Termination by dismissal or discharge in criminal prosecution:

C.J.S. Vol. 54 Section 45 Termination by dismissal or discharge in criminal prosecution

Where the dismissal of criminal charges reflects on the merits of the underlying action it constitutes a favorable termination sufficient to support an action for malicious prosecution.

In a malicious prosecution action the plaintiff must establish, among other things that the underlying criminal proceeding was terminated in his or her favor, which is satisfied when the final disposition involves the merits and indicates innocence on the part of the accused.  Accordingly, a malicious prosecution action cannot be predicated on underlying criminal proceeding which were terminated in a manner not indicative of the accuser’s innocence.  However, there is other authority that does not distinguish between dismissals consistent with the innocence of the accused and dismissal on the basis of a procedural or technical defect.

The dismissal of criminal charges may constitute a favorable termination even though future criminal proceedings may be brought against the accused on the same charge, if the prosecutor must institute new proceedings in order to further prosecute the case.  A favorable termination has been held to exist where dismissal is due to a formal abandonment of proceedings by a public prosecutor, the complaining witness’s refusal to testify, a lack or insufficiency of evidence necessary for conviction, a lack of a speedy trial, or a prior grant of immunity.

Because of the above, a plea of guilty causes a waiver of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the pleader further waives the right to a trial wherein his or her guilt would have had to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Hence the judge must ask if the pleader understands the rights he or she is giving up, and that said waiver is knowing and not coerced. Why, because the conviction and sentencing is to follow.
 And here is the whole point people, as long as there is a conviction there can be no claim of false arrest, malicious prosecution, or false imprisonment.  A conviction also negates any claim of violation of a persons civil and constitutional rights. The short version is, "as long as there is some form of conviction, those accused cannot come back and sue those that initiated the prosecution in the first place.

A classic example of this situation is contained within Prinz v. Greate Bay Casino Corp., 705 F. 2d 692 - Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 1983. I'll link you to the case but in a nutshell, Mr. Prinz was arrested by a casino, sent to the Municipal Court in Atlantic City, NJ.  Where he was advised by a public defender to plead guilty and all he would have to do is pay a fine and be done, so he did that. He then filed a lawsuit for false arrest and won, but this verdict was reversed due to his prior guilty plea as evidenced within the first paragraph of the case that states:

Greate Bay Hotel and Casino, Inc. (Greate Bay) appeals from a final judgment of $105,000 in favor of David Prinz in his suit for false imprisonment and assault and battery, and from an order denying its motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial. The judgment was entered on a jury verdict on special verdict interrogatories, which found Greate Bay liable for assault and battery and false imprisonment and awarded $5,000 in compensatory and $100,000 in punitive damages. We hold that the trial court erred in denying Greate Bay's motion for a new trial, and we remand for that purpose.

But guess what folks Mr. Prinz was not guilty of any crime, he just fell for some well planned advice from one of the casinos band, just like all those you are hearing about throughout this blog.  Judge Noel L. Hillman has been made aware of this case law and has done all within his power the protect the New Jersey Casino industry from liability from violating their patrons civil and constitutional rights, as this lone pro se litigant has uncovered.
 So as we can see unless you educate yourself about the law, "prayer" will never enter the equation, because you won't stand a prayer when judicial officers are bent of mind upon securing a conviction by all means necessary. You will not have a prayer if you don't learn what rights you give up by just pleading guilty, paying a fine or taking some other sweet deal that will surly not be designed with you in mind, but the protection of eliminating a future lawsuit.

Thank You,
The Casino Gaming Oracle!

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