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Pleading guilty in court


aka ginger warlock
Source: BBC News

At the moment here in the UK the British Prime Minister David Cameron has been in discussion with Ken Clarke with the proposal made that if someone pleads guilty to a crime right away they may face less jail time than to someone who does not plead guilty. The idea behind this is to cut the current number of inmates in jail and also saving four billion pounds a year in the costs of inmates.

I am quite deadset against this but also can see why this may not be a bad idea. The reason I am unsure of this is I don't think it will be made clear why a person had a reduced sentence for reasons of keeping a persons private life private. If someone for example was caught dealing drugs and admitted it I am not sure this would entirely wake them up and make them think "well blimey I better not do that again" but will potentially have the opposite effect and make them think "the law is soft therefore I have less to worry about".

Do you think a proposal like this is a good one? If two people go in for the some offence should the person who openly admits what they have done be given a short sentence or should they both get the same one?


Registered Member
I think this is a bad idea, a friend of mine, she was attacked by 3 men 2 of them pleaded guilty 1 didn't, if this rule had been came in back then it would mean the the 2 men who did plead guilty would be doing less time than they deserve, i still think the time they got now wasn't enough.
i think if you commit a crime you should serve the full sentence for that crime, admitting to a crime doesn't make it any less of one, the victim knows you did it pleading guilty is just letting everyone else know you did.


Registered Member
People already face less jail time if they plead guilty. And even people who committed the exact same crime and neither plead guilty (or both plead guilty) and they end up with different sentences because of different judges, different lawyers, etc.

Plus there's the fact that some people would likely get away with it if they hadn't caved and plead guilty. Which would be even worse.

I've also been hearing rumors that some places are actually releasing prisoners early (or considering it) just because their prisons are too overcrowded.

Don't get me wrong. In an ideal world, none of this would be allowed. But reality doesn't work that way.


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I've been offered deals for pleading guilty. I live in the States, though, so I'm not sure how things work in Britain. Really, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Over mostly petty stuff, you're just getting churned through the system, and getting someone to plead guilty just saves time and money. All the same, it seems like everyone and their mom pleads guilty at an arraignment hearing, and then claims to not be guilty when asked for details about the alleged crime, which results in a "not guilty" plea being entered. I imagine most of these people are guilty, but all the same, you have to imagine perfectly innocent people plead guilty to things to save themselves time and bother, and that's not exactly justice.


Registered Member
If an innocent person pleads guilty for expediency, then I don't have a problem with that. It's a choice that they make to make things easier for themselves. It's only a problem IMO if someone pleads guilty because they were under duress (or whatever)


Embrace the Suck
When people plead guilty in court most oftentimes it's for a lesser charge. This takes away the risk the prosecution has in an acquittal and the risk the defendant has in a guilty verdict. Should someone who has pled guilty get a lesser jail sentence than someone who is found guilty of a crime? Absolutely. It encourages people to plead to a lesser charge and saves time and money in a trial.