Early Releases / Plea Deals:
What’s the Difference?
By Dortell Williams
Recently an entire litany of popular (or renowned) faces have accepted plea deals for crimes committed. The array of transgressions span as wide as the court defendants themselves: singers who beat on their singer girlfriends; parents who dupe society by claiming their boy has drifted perilously away in a balloon: blackmailers of late night comedians.
All agreed to plea deals that relieved them of their respective state's prescribed sentencing schemes. The violent and non-violent alike, serious offenses and not so serious.
The latest in this parade of plea dealers is the infamous voyeur who created a feature-length film of one of ESPN's finest by daily stalking her from state to state and from one hotel to the next. Then there's the son of the famous and celebrated actor who pleaded guilty to drug dealing and other related charges for a much lesser sentence of five years.
So with all the hype -- and that's exactly what it is -- what difference does it make if the offender who is inevitably going to get out anyway, has his sentence shaved either at the beginning or end of his term? At least with the latter, the offender has been given an opportunity to earn it. Nevertheless, where's the clamor against all of these plea deals?
The truth: The system would collapse without them.