Prosecutors, Charge Stacking, and Plea Deals

We’ve posted several times on the blog about how prosecutors will “stack charges” against a defendant, thus building a very long potential prison sentence if convicted, and then approach the defendant with a “plea deal” that would result in a guaranteed, substantially reduced charge and sentence if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the reduced offense. If the defendant takes the deal, the prosecutor doesn’t have to take the case to trial, and possibly not even to a grand jury, both of which are a lot of work and require a lot of time on the part of the prosecutor. This has become absolutely standard practice. The prosecutor will “stack” charges to build such a scary potential sentence, that even actually innocent people will be intimidated into pleading guilty, rather than face what’s called the “trial penalty ” – that very scary long sentence if they should somehow be convicted at trial. Not surprisingly, the nature of the deal offered by the prosecutor will be driven by how strong a case he/she thinks they would have in court – the weaker the case, the better the deal.

Let me also add that the prosecutor has no problem assembling a very long list of charges against you. The penal code has become so vast, and there are so many laws, that there’s a law against practically everything. I suggest that most people are not even aware they’re breaking a law when they do it, because they don’t know the law exists. I swear; I think they could charge you with something for walking down the sidewalk whistling a tune while wearing a blue shirt.

To really understand what happens here, I thought it would be enlightening to provide an example case – albeit hypothetical and totally “made up.” Here’s the scenario: You are out mowing your lawn one day, and find a nest of six baby rabbits at the base of the foundation of your house. Now, the rabbits have been eating and destroying your landscape plants for years, so your first reaction is, “Get the hose and drown them.” But then you think, “No, I’ll do the humane thing; put them in a box, and release them out in the ‘country’.” So you scoop the rabbits into a cardboard box, put it in your car, and drive out to the country.
Now, here’s what happens. You stop by the side of a country road, release the rabbits out into the tall grass, get back in your car, and drive away. A sheriff’s deputy on patrol noticed you dumping something by the side of the road, and he pulls you over. The officer comes up to your car, and asks, “Sir, may I ask what you dumped by the side of the road back there?” You answer, “It was just some rabbits from my yard.” The officer says, “I see. How many?” You say, “Six.” And at this point, the officer says, “Sir, get out of the car. You’re under arrest for interfering with wildlife.”
Now that you’ve been arrested and initially charged, the prosecutor is going to come to you (and your attorney) with a plea deal. This can be even before an indictment, because if he/she can get you to plead guilty now, then he/she doesn’t have to spend time and effort taking the case to a grand jury, much less to trial. In this case (your case) the prosecutor comes to you (your attorney) and says, “This is what I’m charging you with.” The prosecutor then lists the charges and the prison sentences that accompany each:
Interfering with wild life. One count. Six months each count.
Removing wildlife from its natural habitat. Six counts.  One year each count.
Placing wildlife in a non-native habitat. Six counts. One year each count.
Use of a motor vehicle for the purpose of interfering with wildlife. One count. One year each count.
Illegal dumping. One count. Three months each count.
Illegally parking on a county road. One count. Three months each count.
[Note: If someone else had helped you do this, there could also be conspiracy charges added.]
Then the prosecutor says: “If you will plead guilty to one count of interfering with wildlife, we’ll see that you get 30 days in jail, with one year probation upon release, and a $500 fine.” When you do the math, you quickly realize you’re facing a possible 14 years in prison versus 30 days and probation. You’re thinking, “This can’t be happening. I don’t think I did anything wrong.” But what would you do? Go to trial and face 14 years in prison? This is the dilemma that many defendants face on a regular basis, and is the primary reason why only 6% of criminal cases ever go to trial.  [And for federal cases, it’s only about 3%.]
Granted, this example was completely contrived, and it’s not possible to concoct an example that’s exactly analogous to every individual collection of circumstances, but that’s essentially how it works.

66 responses to “Prosecutors, Charge Stacking, and Plea Deals

  1. Phil, the stacking begins at arrest actually.

    • Charges were added “after” arrest that did not appear on the police report or at the IA hearing in the Courtney Bisbee case, where the prosecutor appeared and Courtney had no defense attorney present.

      Who controls the Grand Jury where the prosecutor is in control and defendant and defense attorney are excluded? Who prepares the “indictment”, where the inflated and trumped up charges are thrown in? Stack the charges so they can label her “high-profile” for media coverage, financial and career gain?

    • So long-story not incredibly short: In May of 2012 on the night before my graduation from NAU I was involved in an altercation at a bar where I defended myself against three violent bouncers at Colin’s Irish Pub. I was beaten up and arrested, spent all night in jail and got out 1 hr before my graduation. At graduation I was Summa Cum Laude with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and received a full scholarship to attend a Masters Program the following year.

      When it came time for my arraignment, this being my first time in the judicial system, I was not clear what was going to happen at this hearing and I was not provided a lawyer before hand nor was I aware that a lawyer would NOT be present during this arraignment. I had been led to believe that before any plea was to be entered I would be able to consult with a lawyer (I never even received a free consultation)….At the arraignment I was bullied by the prosecutor Robert Brown into pleading no contest. I say I was bullied because, again, this being my first time in the judicial system and being without a lawyer I was unclear of what I was agreeing to at the time and was unsure of my rights. In addition to that, when I asked the prosecutor for a continuance so that I may contact a lawyer before entering a plea deal he said I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO ASK FOR A CONTINUANCE. He said the best I could do was to call my father and ask for his advice and he would give me 5 minutes to run across the street to use a payphone to call him. But if I wasn’t back in 5 minutes he would hold me in contempt of the court…I ran outside to grab my cell phone to call my father, but my car had been towed with my phone inside. I ended up having to borrow a business phone right next to the courthouse after I begged and pleaded with them….Not having talked to a lawyer and being told that I could NOT ask for a continuance, I ended up pleading no contest because I was bullied into making a decision against my wishes and rights…

      I have been living with this ‘no contest’ plea for 6 years now. Despite receiving a Bachelors Degree (Honors: Summa Cum Laude) with a cumulative GPA of 4.0, despite getting my Masters Degree (Honors: with Distinction) in 2014 with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and despite being 2.5 years through my Doctorate in Political Science at University of Massachusetts Amherst, I can not get any jobs, or qualify for certain professional licenses, or even drive for uber, because of this ‘no contest’ plea. I firmly believe I can prove that I was NOT provided my rights to ask for a continuance at my arraignment or a lawyer/public defender to represent me….

      Despite all of my degrees, awards, and accomplishments my life has been ruined and this injustice will continue to destroy my career potential because Arizona does not even offer expungement….There is much more detail I can provide if we chat on the phone but this mistake of naively and unfairly being pushed to plea no contest has ruined my life.

      I can provide all of my degrees, transcripts, letters of rec, awards and honors to show you that I am a good person who tried to defend himself from hostile and overworked bouncers the night before his graduation. At graduation I was black and blue with bruises and cuts, still, I was named the top graduating senior in the entire department of Politics & International Affairs and was in the top 2% of ALL graduating seniors in the entire University. I need to get this fixed. My career and life depends on it.

    • It also begins at pre meditated arrests involving buerocrats from state, county and city officials during said arrest.

  2. “Plea bargaining by all civil officers of the U.S. is in violation of Article II, Sec. 4 of the Constitution. A “plea” is nothing but a bribe.” (concerned citizen)

  3. William Mosley

    I think this happened to me. I did not plead guilty. But was found guilty because of the nature of the charges not because of the evidence. Because it was contradictory. I am innocent and got 20 years. Can’t get any help.

    • Damn… I feel for ya, man. The system is so fucked up.
      Then again, I thought EVERYONE was innocent until here recently, when some friends of mine began going in and out of the penitentiary, bragging what their “real” charges could’ve been…
      My friends sure do make me wonder.

  4. State Bar of Arizona :: Ethics Opinion June 2015
    New Ethics Opinion: 15-01: Plea Agreements; Waiver; Ineffective Assistance; Conflict of Interest; Criminal Representation

    A newly released Ethics Opinion has been posted to the State Bar of Arizona Ethics Opinions web page. Click to read the entire opinion.

    15-01: Plea Agreements; Waiver; Ineffective Assistance; Conflict of Interest; Criminal Representation

    For ethics questions, call the State Bar ethics hotline at 602.340.7284.

    “The conflict-of-interest rules prohibit a defense attorney from advising a criminal defendant to waive the defendant’s right to raise that attorney’s ineffective assistance of counsel. The ethical rules also prohibit a prosecutor from insisting that a defendant waive the right to raise ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct claims. Opinion 95-08 is accordingly withdrawn.


    The Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct apply not only to state prosecutors but also to federal prosecutors practicing in Arizona.[1] As a condition of their plea offers, certain prosecutors have required defendants to waive all post-conviction judicial review. The exact language of these waivers has varied over the years and will undoubtedly continue to vary in the future. As a common example, a typical federal waiver required that the defendant give up any right to raise any claim on appeal or in a habeas corpus petition.[2] The defendant also generally has to acknowledge in the signed plea agreement that the defendant is “satisfied” that defense counsel has acted in a “competent manner” and has “carefully reviewed every part of” the plea agreement with the defendant. The defense attorney generally must then approve and sign the agreement, representing (1) that the attorney has discussed with the defendant the plea agreement, the defendant’s constitutional and other rights, and the consequences of the guilty plea and (2) that the attorney agrees that the terms of the agreement “are in the best interests of my client.”[3]

    Because such waivers do not except claims arising from the defense attorney’s own ineffective assistance of counsel or the prosecutor’s own misconduct, the waivers thus attempt to eliminate defendants’ rights to raise ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct claims (among other claims) on appeal or in post-conviction relief proceedings. Although the Arizona state courts generally do not enforce these broad waivers,[4] the United States District Court for the District of Arizona and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit generally do enforce them.[5] While federal prosecutors have recently revised their internal policy and are not currently requiring defendants to waive their right to raise ineffective assistance of counsel claims,[6] the policy does not address the ethical implications of the waivers described above and does not address waivers of prosecutorial misconduct claims.[7] ” ….

  5. I am usually the one who gives prosecutors and police a lot of grief but the issue of rial penalty is a two sided coin (the prosecutors have seen fit to abuse to their own content).

    Because of the massive amount of arrests and cases the system (more judges and prosecutors) depend upon the plea bargains to keep everyone in line. This follows the same logic of administration needed to run a prison camp. Those who dare to speak up are brutally punished to make sure everyone else stands in line. With the prosecutors, it isn’t personal or justice but rather just management, if you let one defendant stand up to you and challenge you and don’t respond with brutality, they all will stand up to you. Prosecutors use this as a threat to deter trials because if they did not no one would ever cooperate or plead. If there was no trial penalty every defendant would assert their right to trial (because they have nothing to lose), prosecutors would have more work fighting every defendant from case to case, the cost of the system would skyrocket, and the system would be administratively clogged (like shoving an elephant through a funnel).

    So what then….? Which is worse the bully being in control or no one being in control?

    I am not saying that I agree with it but merely that I understand why it happens in the cause and effect of sequence and management.

    This is a good dialogue to have.

  6. “If there was no trial penalty every defendant would assert their right to trial (because they have nothing to lose), ” …

    And no one would dare go to trial, because of “trial penalty”, unless they knew they were innocent, which should bring some credibility to “presumption of innocence” and “due process”.

    And, then to continue the “years-long” costly battle in the Appeals courts (“rubber-stamping” “denied” with no explanation after years of languishing (SOP?)), for 11 years at enormous cost (all private lawyers, no public defenders here) – selling our homes, etc. to mount a legal defense (a transfer of a lifetime’s working assets and retirement, to the legal system). No one is discussing this. Instead, this makes a mockery of the “nonexistent” appeals system, which needs further discussion. Prosecutors moved up to Appeals judges “protecting” their earlier convictions (people say)?

  7. I said I understand why it happens but not that I agree with it.

    If the prison camp guards let one inmate stand up to them and do not respond with overwhelming brutal force, then all prisoners will stand up to them.

    Its a very impersonal management.

    I wish there was a better system…maybe police could just arrest less people?

    • Lee, It starts with the police report. How well are the police trained to understand that when they file that report, they just destroyed a life and a family – who are all now plunged into the broken criminal justice system.

      Study your county jails, where over 12,000,000 people are thrown into each year across America. And who controls the county jails? An “elected” politician? God forbid if they are bastions of zero-tolerance policies, racism and bigotry. Start here with serious reform. Los Angeles county jail would be a good place to start for a case study. Maybe, Maricopa County jail, AZ — both currently in the news??

  8. Pingback: Center for a Stateless Society » The Weekly Abolitionist: Plea Bargains vs. High School Civics Fantasies – An Outsider's Sojourn II

  9. I was arrested. I am 56 years of age. I was a single Mother a professional in the securities industry. I was raised in abuse and i am now potentially going to die in some prison of abuse. I am on social security disability on a mental disability stemming from childhood trauma that still haunts me to dysfunction today. Police abusing powers. Lying manipulating facts permitting CI’s and themselves to break any and all laws they deem necessary to feed the discretionary privileges of the Prosecutorial machine so they can enjoy their Christ_less (mas) bonus in the ever growing machine of the powers that be seeking control and containment to continue to usurp the inheren rights of man in their own it the growing of an economy for the politically power hungry governments that spawn the abuses or to further their own ends. I cant even tell you about the hell I gave do even endure from the failings of my own attorney a former proscecutor of you guessed it 13 years in the name of God nailing the coffin shut! Well, with the stacking of charges and the lies probably 5 years in prison for a pipe planted in my front seat, being sexually groped by a CI and valium for which i have a prescription (over 20 years) anothrr charge for 3 xanax. All in the interest of a Controlled buy or sale arrest where neither took place. Nor were drugs that go eith this pipe found. I ran out of gas. Is soon to be im homeless. Then prison. Then??? I refuse to admit guilt when i am not guilty. I rather blow my head off than permit somebody else to take another thing from me because they are in authority to do it. All I can say is homelessness or prison. I get to eat and i’ll have a roof over my head. The joy of choice which one moves you to tears?

  10. I had called police my husband had a alcohol relapse and I was very angry I was hitting him in face with a envelope he stood up grabbed my wrist and we both went down, he got 2 simple assults and harrassment he is in jail now, I testified as to what I just stated, but DA and police keep calling me trying to lead me to say that I am scared of him, he does have a record, and is on probation, but they keep trying to tell me they

  11. Wow. That is exactly what has happened to me. However because i did not take the deal this prosecutor went to the grand jury and got 6 more counts including burglary on an assault case. The judge said he would have to review the new charges cause burglary doesnt make sense. Not to mention repeated nonsense. I may go to trial and face what was ZERO jail time and a felony conviction to now a trumped up 15 years in prison.

  12. Never speak with the police. If the police want to question you, only tell them your name, address and date of birth. In response to any other questions the police might ask you, politely tell the officer that you are going to remain silent and that you would like to have a lawyer present while you are being questioned.

  13. Pingback: Over-Incarceration, Charge-Stacking, and Mens Rea - PEA Soup

  14. Apparently what they don’t tell you is when you take the plea you also forfeit the right to sue for all wrongdoing. My fiance was accused of stealing money from a Huddle House in GA and lost his job, the case was being investigated, nobody told him he couldn’t leave GA. I took him to NC, where we were from so he could get his job back at Waffle House and start building up some money before my children finished the school year. I returned to GAandthe next day two detectives came to my house and asked for Ray, never asked where he was and told me he didn’t have a warrant yet, the chief of police called me and asked me to have Ray call him so I did. They never came back to my house and never called me again, but the chief of police did follow me when i was driving places, but never attempted to stop me. Two days later I got stuck in a ditch and called the police to help me get out, two days after that my landlord started clearing my yard and throwing my children’s toys away, took my dog, and i was told he shot him. After a long week I made the decision to leave GA, even though I would have to pull my children out in the middle of a school year. One month later my sisters tried to take custody of my children because they don’t like my fiance, 6 days later I got my kids back after going to court and the courthouse getting information that I in fact did not have a warrant for anything and was not fleeing from the law, however a warrant was taken out on Ray, 22 min after we left the courthouse they called DSS on me and throughout that month they called the police department in GA seven times, resulting in the chief of police taking out a warrant on me for “aiding the escape of a felon in custody “, because as stated in my warrant they had a recording of me admitting to taking ray to NC. However, he lied staying that in the week that I was in GA I alluded and hid from the police and wouldn’t answer their questions, and then I fled the state after they took out a warrant on me. The warrant was back dated to the week I was in GA. I had no idea the warrant was ever even taken out on me until 1.5 years later, when i was looking at land to buy and flip, got lost and stopped for suspicious behavior and the warrant was reported. My 11 year old was at sixth grade orientation, my 15 year old was asleep at home and i had my 7 year old and 3 year old with me. DSS had to hold onto the 7&3 year old and Rays sister picked up my 11 year olds from the middle school and then picked up the younger ones then the teenager. It was horrible for my 3&7 year old.

    I was arrested with Ray in NC and brought back to GA, the NC police did because I didn’t have any kind of criminal record I would get bond and be back home within a week, if only that was the case. Two days later I was brought to GA, two days after that was my bond hearing, which was a joke. The magistrate didn’t even look at my record and at that time i didn’t know my warrant was back dated, but “the police said I was a flight risk so I was a flight risk” according to the magistrate. He informed me that I would have the chance to get bond at the superior Corry bond hearing.

    Little did I know that wouldn’t take place for another nearly two months. In the meantime my 15 year old couldn’t enroll in school because I home schooled her last year, so she’s begging me nearly every day to get home asap. My ex husband paid a later to draw up papers so i could sign them and get them notarized so he could get her in school, nearly three weeks later they were still not delivered to me. My three year old was driving my sister in law insane, and her blood pressure was going sky high, not to mention, he cried that he just wanted to go with me every time i talked to him.

    Finally almost two months later i had my superior court bond hearing, another joke if you ask me, everyone there for a bind hearing was offered a plea and if they didn’t take it they went back to jail.

    I had already been informed by my lawyer that they charged me with the wrong thing and really there was nothing they could charge me with because i didn’t break any laws, so he was trying to get charges dismissed. Well, I was offered a plea, but i would get to go home to my kids, so i took it. The felony was dropped to a misdemeanor obstruction of justice, 12 month sentence, two months served, suspended pending my agreement to banishment from the seven counties in the judicial circuit for twelve months. They could have banished forever because I never ever ever want to go back there! But i took it. I was unlawfully arrested and unlawfully imprisoned due to police misconduct but because i took a plea i can’t do anything about it. I just got out of jail one week ago today, and I’m pretty upset with myself for not knowing that i couldn’t do anything about the way i have been treated, lied about, not to mention the horrible ramifications my children have to face. In this past week since I’ve been home my now 4 year old, i missed his birthday while i was in jail, every time he’s heard sirens asks me if the police are going to take him, me or his sister. He asks me if they still have his daddy, which they do, that’s an entirely different story, but he didn’t steal any money, he was the manager, his assistant manager stole some money and the owners added a loan they gave him into the total to make it a felony theft charge. He is still in jail and he just wants to come home. He is planning on taking their plea on Nov 8 even knowing it will negate everything and he will be on probation for way too long, he just wants to come home. I wish I could do something before he went to that “bond hearing” so they call it, but it’s a small town, the Huddle House owners are in with the police and money buys everything there, false testimony, lies, false allegations, false arrest, etc etc, as long as you have money there you can do whatever you want to the low man on the totem pole. Apparently if you take a plea to get home and take care of your kids there is no going back. But my kids needed me, so knowing what I do now if I was in the same position I would still come home to my children, because they are more important than anything else and they need to know that i will always fight to be with them as long as i live. I just found it the hard way how horrible the US justice system is, even when you do absolutely nothing illegal.

  15. Pingback: BACK FROM THE BIG HOUSE | Red Herring Alert

  16. So what can you do about it after going to prison? Can You suit the public defender, probation department, police department. Starting with friends and family of officers and state officials for their ‘doing favors’ to put an 18 yo in prison on false charges that a public defender told him plead guilty or go to prison for minimum 4 years, only to find out later the accusations were false?

  17. The prosecution lied about not pursuing jail time and probation when I took the lesser charge. The complainant didn’t even show up because they were not interested in pressing the issue. The prosecution manipulated the words of the complainant, and lied under oath.

  18. How does America’s indefinite ‘right to know’, and permanent collateral consequences for old spent misdemeanors, square with the 8th. Amendment? Interesting question.
    “Cruel and unusual punishment” is a phrase describing punishment that is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to it.
    There are generally tests that can serve as a guide to what cruel and unusual punishment is according to various legal textbooks in accordance with the law. These are:
    1)** the frequency at which the punishment occurs in society**
    2) overall acceptance in society (?)
    3)** severity (the punishment fits the crime)**
    4) if the punishment is arbitrary (?)

  19. I need help on gathering a good defense on a case. My partner is being charged for something he didn’t do. If there’s anything you could please help us with, we would really appreciate it and be ever so grateful. Thank you

  20. It is sad for prosecutors to get a guilty plea, charges are allowed to be stacked against people. My nephew was 17 and a high school senior, in trouble the first time and prosecutor stacked charges to put him in prison for 10 plus years. Solicitors office has even been called out by a Judge for stacking charges, yet nothing happens. Then you have private defense attorney taking over 10,000 dollars for a plea deal, telling his parents to go to trial will cost even more money. Just how many lives are ruined by our Justice system? There are numerous studies where teenagers brains are not developed when it comes to risk taking. Laws are changing but not fast enough. He had very active parents and they were treated as if they had no rights.

  21. I am involved with in a similar situation. My question is.who do you get to help?After four years of holding something over my families head,which by the way,is like having a bowling ball in a cloud following you, you are just waiting for it to fall! Does wonders for your family! Attorneys, lockups, lost count of appearances in court after 4 years! This is one of those stories that needs to be told

  22. Shannon Joyce

    I recently had a eluding charge a felony eluding charge the first time I talk to my lawyer Defender me I was going to get a year and prison and I came at me with a deal 45 days Eden 45 days work for you I think that’s pretty good deal right but I never had a felony before I held off and ask for more time to decide and they gave me another charged reckless driving my public adjuster called me and told me to come to court in five days to have more charges added to be should I go?

  23. As I see it there is not a reason to hire an attorney. There’s no point! Guarantee you are going to lose when you go up against the government. It’s all about good old boy networking has nothing to do with justice. The United States is reminding more and more of North Korea leadership. I have a brother who has sat in a Federal Prison for 20 years for a crime he did not commit. The man is not a criminal has never had.a minor traffic violation. So after seeing and watching him go through the process of appeals etc, blah blah blah, it’s a futile waste of time and money. He might just as well sat there did his 30 years and shut up. Just like a prisoner in North Korea. Right? There is no such thing as justice in the United States… Its facade …lawyers can’t go up against the government either. Oh they’ll tell you they can just to get your money. Eventually people will see there is no need for an attorney why waste the money and get your hopes up. The 10th circuit court of appeals and supreme Court will knock that right out of you with their reaching back to the early 1800’s for their rulings. But if we let the public know this there would go the law schools and tuitions. So it goes back to the saying, “you can fool some of the people some time but you can’t fool all of the people all of time.” And you don’t fool me either. So if you are an attorney make the money while you can because attorneys can’t outsmart the government either, they don’t want you to. People will get wise to that too. And that innocence project it takes them 25 years to get someone free huh? How about that for progess? My brother only has 5 years left to serve not bad for being 66 years old now. Right? My advice don’t hire an attorney do the time whether you did it or not keep your mouth shut just like they do in North Korea. The difference in the US and North Korea is the US government pretends to have an appeal process and North Korea doesn’t pretend. You go through the motions of “appealing” but ultimately you serve the time the government gives you guilty or innocent just like North Korea. This is a prison nation. Those of us that are not in prison pay the taxes to keep the “lifetime” jobs paid to all of the Federal judges, procectors, Congress, Senate etc.


  24. Isn’t stacking charges just a way for them to say we have a weak case but want to see if we can at least get something to stick

    • Actually, experience shows that the weaker the prosecution’s case, the better the deal.

      I just experienced this on a case I worked recently. Original charge was a felony. We showed the prosecutor incontrovertible evidence that the defendant was innocent. The prosecutor offered a deal reducing the charge to a 4th degree misdemeanor with no probation.

      The defendant took the deal. I think this was unfortunate, because it means the real perpetrator gets away.

      The prosecutor’s motive for charge stacking is to force a plea deal. He gets a guaranteed conviction, and doesn’t have to take the case to trial.

  25. Jacques "Sam" R Farr

    I need a pro bono civil rights attorney in the Phoenix Az metro area.
    I was charged with “theft of means”” trafficking in stolen property” and “theft” FOR SELLING MY OWN TRUCK…! the prosecutor lied to the grand jury stating no Notary was involved and that I “obviously forged” the title and misrepresented myself as the owner (I WAS THE OWNER AND THE TITLE WAS NOTARIZED BY A NOTARY PUBLIC) as the prosecutor well knew, however since they couldn’t locate the notary they thought no one would be able to they just lied to the grand jury to secure an illegal indictment- [I also found out much later there was a person on the GJ panel that knew me personally]- 11 months after indictment and after every motion I filed was denied by the Commisioner presiding over the case simply because I filed them instead of an attorney {matter of record) they finally take me to trial and even deny my rule 8.2 motion, again because I filed it myself (I never asked for or caused a continuance) At this trial the Notary appears and states that in fact she did legally notarize the title in question. I requested dismissal and was denied yet again…..Railroaded the whole way..Incompetent counsel
    ( the first appointed attorney was a police officer REALLY!! and when I asked him to file a motion to remand to the grand jury he stated he’d never heard of such a thing…YES REALLY!!! then due to conflict of interest on his part, the court assigns me a different attorney… This one is a Judge pro-tem who trains prosecutors…REALLY…and this one absolutely will not file anything including clearly exculpatory evidence.. through prosecutorial misconduct,ineffective counsel judicial abuse of discretion/authority,inaproppriately biased jury instructions regarding notary law I was found guilty for selling my own truck and to add insult to injury I even received a form of double jeopardy by getting a theft charge for accepting the money from the man I sold the truck to…REALLY!!!
    I n June 2014 I was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison because I had a 26 year old felony. I initially tried to appeal (from inside, which is like trying to dig a hole in a bucket of water) however my appeal mysteriously got lost within the court system. So after not hearing anything from the courts for 120 days I filed a rule 32 P.C.R. and it was denied by the same Commissioner who presided over trial.. The reason…? must file an appeal first and time limit has expired.REALLY!!! I subsequently filed a special action that to this day has been totally ignored. I then filed a rule 39 to to the appellate court with evidence of prior filing . And finally a year and a half later they ruled to dismiss my P.C.R. to be filed at a later date and concluded the superior court must have “lost” my initial appeal filing and that I could now file my appeal..
    (1 1/2 years later…??? so much for my wright to speedy appeal…) In the mean time I filed a Federal writ of habeas corpus Dec.2014. and this was immediately derailed by the state of Az by filing for an open end continuance
    until I had exhausted all my state remedies. And even though I was able to show the Federal district court that the state had been apprised of and disregarded numerous and blatant violations of Federally protected constitutional rights, however the Federal court gave the state the continuance…
    Fast forward to June 2017, I have been out of Prison since November 2016,
    after serving a prison sentence for a crime that not only did I not commit, but a crime that never even happened..
    I just received notice last week that the Commissioner denied my Rule 32 P.C.R. So now I am Free to move forward on the Habeas that has been on hold for almost 3 years now..
    I am obviously not a learned scholar of law and I sincerely need the assistance of a pro bono Civil Rights Attorney and although I am out of prison I refuse to be a victim…The travesty and injustice perpetrated by the Superiorcourt of Az and the Prosecutors office upon myself and the effects it had on my wife and five children,not to mention the financial devastation from being out of the work force for all that time is a crime in and of itself.
    I have all case transcripts and video of the trial… the preceding has just been a taste of the illegal activities of the prosecutors office and superior court ..{how about this for blatant violation… 6’3″ white male placed in a line up with 5 Mexicans} REALLY!!!


  26. Camille Tilley

    You can’t make this stuff up. These are American tragedies in Arizona who does not recognize the U.S. Constitution, presumption of innocence and due process. The long established pattern of wrongful convictions can be studied in the data from the National Exoneration Registry.

  27. This is happening to my husband now. He was beaten up by Carlsbad, CA police during an incident that occured with a taxi driver that said he had a gun and threatened the taxi driver with it. My husband never had weapons and the video evidence shows my husband taking pictures of the taxi to protect himself. The DA offered a plea deal or stacking past strikes from his youth to get him 25-life on this incident. Offered a 3 year plea deal if he pleas guilty to robbery. Which he had over $400 in his wallet. I was on the phone w him most the time he was in the taxi.

    He is now facing 3 years to avoid much more time being exposed to trial and all the stacked fake charges. He is being sentenced Oct 6th, we can’t believe he is getting 3 years for getting drunk and falling asleep in a taxi that drove him 45 minutes away from the pickup location and then wouldn’t take him HOME like he asked that was only 2 exits away from the pickup location. The taxi lied and said he robbed, punched, threatened him. He was beaten by cops, attacked by police dog that put him in the hospital with an infection. A random hold and high bail was placed to make bail nearly impossible. However, I did manage to bail him out after contacting the fake hold counties.

    • Prosecutors that do this, charging a defendant with crimes they know that he did not commit in order to use it as leverage to try to secure a guilty plea to a lesser charge (or to throw so much crap at the jury that they’re sure SOMETHING will have to stick) should be disbarred. Instantly. As soon as this behavior is known about even if it involves a misdemeanor because it shows that said prosecutor has zero ethics and no business prosecuting cases if ethics are so divorced from the performance of his job.

      Unethical prosecutors caring only about padding their resumes with more convictions so they can move on up to a larger and more prestigious jurisdiction to ruin people’s lives needlessly there for a higher salary is the main reason why this country’s so-called judicial system is such a disgusting practical joke and a steaming piece of shit.

      Don’t stop fighting. Hire a shark of an attorney if you have to and sue their balls off. Or start a demonstration with picket signs in front of the courthouse saying what a joke due process of law is in America anymore and how the bedrock foundation of this country, the rule of law and the average citizen’s confidence in getting a fair trial if they’re wrongfully accused, you know, what underpins the society of any country worth being independent, sometime within my lifetime has been jackhammered away and replaced with a bunch of prosecutorial misconduct, expediency and horseshit and it is high time that due process of law is restored. Whatever you do don’t stop fighting.

      • Henry Dwight Brewer

        Unfortunately we have no lawyer to go against the system of corruption in Dayton Ohio unless we have a boat load of money to pay. I am a victim of prosecutorial misconduct. With no way to get back my life. I am also a victim of police brutality by police and corrections officers. I pray that God will bless me with the privilege to clear my name. I’m no angel but I am not a career criminal and I deserve to have redemption.

  28. I am so glad to see that someone else out there sees that our judical system is anything but just. There is an intentional cultivation of a jail population happening out there, that should deeply concern everyone. I would like to be part of solution if you would get in contact with me at my email address please. Very concerned about public safety

    • It’s a tragedy that this country, which never tires of screaming at the top of its lungs how it’s the “land of the free”, has more people behind bars than all the rest of the world’s countries combined. Our nation of 312 million people has more prisoners than China whose population is about 1.2 billion and India whose population is nearly as much as China’s. Put all the European countries together and their populations are over 800 million and the U.S. has more prisoners than they do. Than everybody, because like I said if you put all the rest of the world’s prisoners together it doesn’t equal the amount who are behind bars in the good old U.S. of A., the so-called “land of the free”.

      Land of the chains is more like it. Land of the tasers and police brutality. Land of unethical prosecutors and kangaroo courts.

      Fuck this place.

    • Henry Dwight Brewer

      I have been trying to get my criminal record thoroughly looked at. There are some charges that I am not guilty of. I have been convicted and sentenced and basically written off. It seems useless and I am powerless. I just want a chance to get back to living as normal as I am able to.

      • Henry Dwight Brewer

        I was told that I can plea to a lesser charge and that the prosecutor would not pursue jail time or probation. The exact opposite is what happened. Prosecutorial misconduct at the core.

  29. The us justice system is a complete and total joke. There’s no justice anymore. It’s a legal money racketeering business that benefits no one other then the judges prosecuter lawyers public pretenders. Trump says we are gonna make America great again…. yeah right. How are we gonna do that when most people are too stupid always turning a blind eye to everything I just that isn’t directly linked to us somehow or deny the fact that our justice system is nothing but a way for some degenerate assholes who were given some kind of authority, a way to take your monies and or your freedom, harass fine and jail innocent people with no worries of having to payout for any wrong doing on their part. What pisses me off even more is that they get away with it because we as the public the American people allow bs laws to be put in place like laws that prevent you from sueing people in the justice system for wrongful doing on their part or part of the prosecution when you as the defendant take or accept one of their so called deals. I’m American and ashamed of what we are. What we REALLY are, not the bullshit image so many of us try to portray. Get a backbone people and stand up for yourself and loved ones don’t be a doormat to anyone say what you mean and mean what you say!!! Quit being a candy ass worrying day and night about popularity and or money. As long as the majority of us continue to bend over and quietly in a agreeing manner spread our cheeks these crooked bastards are gonna continue to bury it balls deep in our asses without so much as an I love you or a reacharound all the while taking everything you have or will have all in the name of justice and plainly put…. just because they can. Need and greed is truly what runs this country anymore and we all pretend like it’s not happening so for those of you who only pretend those people who are fine with all of this people who are so naive who falsely really believe our justice system has anything really to do with justice or actually believe it is just will get no sympathy or help from me when District attorney thick dick teams up with judge screwsemall all along with all their blood sucking friends who work in or run this so called justice system are in our court houses and on our benches taking everything you love or have worked your tail off away from you, everything but your misconstrued false view of how great wonderful useful our justice system is. I should had been born a Newfie because I want no part of what our country REALLY is nor will I be a fake like so many are. I look not for your acceptance nor approval. If you don’t like me then fuck off…. problem solved. God bless Canada… until we learn to stand up for ourselves each other and what is TRULY right together then we are going to continue to only get worse and until then the us is a hopeless lost cause and we have no one to blame but ourselves!,

  30. Any prosecutor who charges a defendant with a crime that they know he did not commit simply in order to use it as leverage against them to get them to plead guilty to a lesser charge needs to be instantly disbarred. Frankly they deserve to have all the flesh whipped off their backs in a town square for being so unethical of a piece of shit that they ruin people’s lives on a daily basis to pad their resumes.

    This is what happens basically every day in this country: Let’s say someone accidentally backs over their kid with their car and kills him. Tragic, yes, but not intentional. Doesn’t matter though because the prosecutor is pretty much guaranteed to charge him not only with manslaughter but also with 2nd degree murder and maybe even 1st degree murder, both of which absolutely require the INTENT to kill someone which nobody is even alleging that the defendant had. I constantly hear about prosecutors alleging that a defendant accidentally caused someone’s death through negligence or recklessness and in the next breath saying “And he’s being charged with 1st degree murder”. Seriously? Are you out of your mind or just totally devoid of ethics?

    Let’s remember that when the state charges a person with a crime that is tantamount to the state saying in so many words “We think you committed this crime and we have enough evidence to try to prove it in court so that’s what we’re going to do.” Which is why it is ludicrous to charge someone with crimes that are mutually exclusive such as charging a defendant with manslaughter, 2nd degree murder and 1st degree murder all for the same solitary victim. Common sense tells you that no human being can possibly be guilty of killing the same person with
    1. intent to kill and premeditation plus
    2. intent to kill but no premeditation plus
    3. no intent to kill them whatsoever because it was an accident. That is as asinine as charging the same person with stealing a car in New York City and stealing another car two minutes later in Los Angeles when there is no way he could possibly be guilty of both. No prosecutor with any ethics whatsoever would charge him with both crimes yet we see the equivalent of that happen every day which tells me that the problem of prosecutors having no ethics but still prosecuting cases as if they had any more business doing so than Charles Manson is a problem of epidemic proportions. This is no small matter.

    One of the two biggest problems with the piece of shit dog and pony show unconvincingly masquerading as a judicial system in this country is that prosecutors have unlimited power to charge defendants with crimes that they KNOW the defendant did not commit so that either 1. they can use it as leverage to get them to plead guilty to another charge or 2. so that they make it much more likely that the jury will return a guilty verdict on SOMETHING, and with either reason # 1 or # 2 the prosecutor gets exactly what he wants, all that really matters to him, another win in his win column on his resume. That’s all that matters to them and they will cheerfully ruin people’s lives on a daily basis and not lose a moment’s sleep over it. Said people are doing the world no favors by continuing to breathe, as they’re the kind of folks that make you want to buy them a toaster for their bathtub. Any prosecutor that stacks charges against a defendant that they know the defendant did not commit should be instantly disbarred and not allowed within 500 feet of a courtroom unless they themselves are a defendant.

    The other major glaring problem is that mistrials don’t equal an acquittal. Well I’m sorry but as far as I’ve ever known if the prosecution doesn’t convince the 12 jurors that the defendant is guilty then it certainly means that the prosecution didn’t do a good enough job. Otherwise they’d have gotten a conviction by convincing the jurors that they were right. So what happens when 11 jurors vote not guilty and one asshole who had his mind made up before the opening statements were made that the defendant was guilty goes ahead and casts his “guilty” vote? The judge says “Well, it looks like it’s a hung jury so that means we will now pretend that this trial never actually happened and start all over again and give the prosecution ANOTHER crack at getting the result they want.”

    Which absolutely shits all over the concept of protection from double jeopardy. How many chances does the prosecution get to get it right? Just keep trying the defendant until they get a “guilty” verdict or what? Because that’s the end result when because all 12 didn’t vote “not guilty” but you don’t consider the prosecution’s failure to get a conviction as anything but an acquittal. The defendant is being held to an unreasonably high standard. If he or she is guilty and the state feels it has enough evidence to prove it in court but the jury doesn’t agree then that should be an acquittal regardless of whether the jury doesn’t agree with the prosecution in the form of all 12 voting “not guilty” or whether it was disagreeing in the form of some voting “guilty” and some voting “not guilty”. That result means only one thing: the prosecution DID NOT prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant was guilty because that “shadow of a doubt” is being expressed in the form of dissenting votes by jurors who didn’t feel that he was guilty so they voted “not guilty”. It is BEYOND unethical for the judge to then look at it like the prosecution deserves another crack at getting the verdict they want simply because all 12 didn’t agree on the same thing.

    If we can get rid of the “hung jury equals prosecution getting another crack at the verdict they want” problem and get rid of the problem of prosecutors behaving in a wildly unethical manner by charging defendants with crimes that they know the defendant did not commit then we just might be able to restore due process of law to this country.

    Otherwise it does not remotely deserve to be independent if it cannot even give its citizens a fair trial. The founding fathers would have wiped their asses with the Declaration of Independence and apologized to Britain for ever offending them if they could see the sorry state of the American “judicial” system nowadays. Disgraceful. Nobody in their right mind would bother with the effort of trying to establish a country if they knew it would eventually degenerate to such a degree that its citizens can’t have any expectation of a fair trial if they’re wrongfully accused. We’re all just one bizarre circumstance away from being railroaded by some piece of shit unethical prosecutor into a prison cell for the rest of our lives.

    Do you not see that we’re practically already there? The bars may be covered in velvet and our cell may have a flat screen t.v. and a window with a nice view but you know what? It’s still an effing prison cell.

    • Sir, the world so truly needs you and your way with words. You hit the nail on the head and put it through the board. Thank you.

  31. My daughter is currently in a County Jail on charges of vop. Prosecutor has offered her 42 months of prison time. My daughter is never been in trouble this is her first time on probation and first time to violate. Prosecutor told her attorney that if she did not take this deal she would up it to six years in prison. I’m confused?? Is this wrong? Sounds very wrong to me. I would like your input please.

  32. Prosecuters, judges, police, all lie and they could not care less about you, your friends, your reputation, all they are interested in is how much money they can pocket for themselves.

    The more false charges the better, this is called stacking the charges. Bond, commodities and C.U.S.I.P. frauds against all who enter the courts.

  33. Lavonne Roark

    My son was convicted with another guy of stealing and selling radiators. All they had on my son was the other guys word and a photo on a camera showing he was at a junkyard where they were supposedly selling the radiators. But the photo does not connect him with the radiators. The other guy got off. My son was charged with the stealing, he has spent some time in jail, some time on house arrest, and has to pay $ 6000.00 dollars in restitution. To start with it was to be divided between the two. But now its just on my son. And when he pays $150.00 a month, they take half for the prosecutor. We are in Missouri and I would like to know what you think of this. And why does he have to pay someone who convicted him

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  37. What can be done to change the wrongful plea bargains?

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  41. Are all these stories for real– ? man, I feel like I just went thru
    A portal for the twighlight zone

  42. False charges from people who want to be the judge and jury. This is exactly what Patrick Condon Prosector of Lancaster County Nebraska has made a practice of since coming into office. He has made a mockery of actual crime and has to many outsider influences from third party campaign investors. It’s the worst ran county in the country and it’s thanks to stacking charges. He even admits Columbo is his boyhood hero which is ever more proof of how crooked this man is.

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  44. A family member called the police and got me involved with the domestic violence dispute against my fiance I was pretty much coaxed into telling the police officers some things that happened but didn’t really happen and it’s it’s complicated anyways I’m trying to find a pro bono lawyer or lawyer because I’ve been subpoenaed to go to court how do I go about not having to testify and pleading the fifth so I don’t get held in contempt or jail time and my fiance can come home

  45. I was hit with a tafficking charge in NM 2 yrs ago. My lawyer told me the only evidence that the DA had was audio that i think i say, “hey” in. He told me would be an easy case. I pay him in full. He calls me into his office friday before court i have monday. And tells me i have no deffence i need to sign the plea agreement, if i dont he will drop me and he will not represent me if i go to trial. So i sign. I didnt want to so i go to court, plea no contest. And it dont feel right. So i ask my lawyers secretary if i could see the video and she told me the DA never provided one and she gave me the audio the only evidence have. What can i do? I was sentenced that same day to 5yrs supervised probabtion. Ive never been introuble before have no record and not familar with court proceedings but im gunna lose my place over this.
    I dont know where to go or what to do.

  46. Hi I have a couple cases in Adams County Wi it all started when I was helping a so called friend.. I had arrested because he was causing harm to me..
    in September 2020 AC Deputies came to my front door looking for this guy by the name of Christopher D .I stated to the officers he was not here he was not in my house.. they kept insisting they do a search of my house. I said no I don’t feel well he’s not here if he comes here I’ll call you! In October charges were mailed to me which I didn’t receive so when I went to Baraboo wi to get my car that was taken from me I was arrested in a warrant .. I stated to the officer ..I have a warrant how could I have a warrant I don’t do anything I don’t leave my house .. I’m not in trouble ir out on bond or nothing .. I was arrested see the judge the next day for obstructing an officer and resisting .. and 4- felony bail jumping.. which are not mine! Can’t get a bail jumping if your not out on bond, Right!? Wrong Adams County DA can give them to ya .. she gave me Christopher Duffs 4 felony bail jumping charges then months later she keeps adding it first. It’s party to a crime, and now she added party to a crime ..Repeater /modifier.. So I assume you can not tell an officer he can’t come into your house. This case is still going on
    In March of 2021 Adams County deputies came to my house asked if I was Debra Paulina I said Yes .. the Deputy opened my Door grabbed my arm and hand cuffed me and I asked why am I being arrested . Another deputy standing on the deck says your not arrested you’re being detained I said for what I didn’t do anything. I’ll come talk to you in a little while he says you’re gonna sit in the officers vehicle I said, for what.
    Hours later, he came to the vehicle, handed me a piece of paper that stated it was a search warrant, and he asked if I had seen any of those items I stated NO! They trashed my house broke my smart tv 65”
    Took my security cameras down, unplug them.
    Then in May 2021 I received papers in the mail I was being charged with two counts burglary to a dwelling, possession of meth, paraphernalia, bail, jumping.
    This case is still open as well..
    I was given a court appointed attorney who stated to the judge judge I don’t know if I’m working for you or if I’m working for the public defender but this attorney wasn’t there for me so I fired him and he sued me for 3000 something more dollars than what I would’ve had to pay him they’re garnishing all my state income. The person that did these burglaries stated to this last attorney who quit because I would not take the plea and said if I did not take the play, would be going to prison for 24 years I better take the plea he’s offering me the play I better take it , well he quit but the person that did the burglaries stated to this attorney that the person that was with him was wearing a mask a hoodie and it was not me !
    The DA feels that it was me in this house with this Christopher Duff .. it was not ! One of the officers stated in his report that he recognizes me in that house, it not me!
    I’m getting charges stacked on me for for no reason the first incident I ended up finding Christopher‘s GPS bracelet he made a collar for the dog. I still have that collar! He was not here. He might’ve been here, but it was beyond my knowledge could’ve been when I was working or when I left to go to my sons house, but I had not seen him this Christopher had girlfriends he’s destroyed my house literally I have a shotgun hole through my living room window that was meant for me. He’d have parties here when I was working he’d have girls here drugs I got beat up broken ribs called the cops got beat up because I called the cops. .. he gave my clothes to girls I don’t know, he took my money, he withdrew my retirement, he maxed out my credit cards, he gave all my passwords girlfriends.
    I don’t feel I’m being treated fairly here and Adams County! The last time I went in front of the DA I got one year jail no good time no Huber, 10 years probation. This time it’s 60 days jail. No good time, 4 years probation!
    I just don’t feel that I deserve this charge. I feel like I have gone through enough. I don’t feel that I’ve done anything wrong. I don’t know maybe I’m contacting the wrong people but if you know who I can contact, please let me know. Thank you for your time Debra Paulina
    I was never arrested on any of these charges. They were just mailed to me via USPS mail.

  47. Katheryn Kerr

    Thank you for breaking it down albeit hypothetical of course. Now, my question is, what if you have an ongoing case and think this type of scenario (although totally different charges than described here) is what is going on with a person right now. And they aren’t so much as getting “stacked charges” but they are definitely getting threatened and aggressively coerced into not taking the case to trial or face an enormous amount of time that does not fit the crime hes being accused of.

  48. I have a Wisconsin ADA that is using bailjumping to force me into a giulty plea or conviction if I loose at trial when I am innocent of the crime there has to be a law put in place to keep these prosecutors from abusing their power and ruin someone’s life and can charge you without an investigation they can literally play God with us and take anyone of you that Is reading this and charge you with whatever they want and make any of you sign a plea deal to a crime you did not commit to avoid prison and there is nothing any of us can do about it and if we did stand up and fight then won at trial or had the charges dismissed its on your record they say we can sue for malicious prosecution but not really your just screwed, I don’t remember ever voting to give these pricks amunity but someone did and that’s the major down fall of the justice system giving one person that much power with no consequences when they abuse it they have absolute power and protected by amunity so what are you going to do about that ? This system sucks and governing or regulating the prosecution and holding them accountable for their actions would be a huge leap at improving the justice system as a whole. It’s common sense we teach our children to do the right thing and not to be naughty and if they do they will be in trouble and we as adults have to be good and follow the law or we will be in trouble to but not Prosecutors they can brake the laws do whatever they want and not be in any trouble at all my question is who the hell thought this would be a good idea?

  49. Susan Edwards

    What do you do when your house is rated they found nothing but a pipe with resin in your roommates bowl you get to Discovery pack they have no evidence it’s been over a year now your lawyer comes to you with a play deal of 3 months $300 fine you accept it cuz you just you’re tired of it and then when you go in front of the judge you end up with one year $1,000 fine and the DA stands up and says that they got me with a gram and a half of methamphetamines but they never did there’s no evidence by the lawyer Do not defend me at all she works like alcohol I was trying to say not guilty and I didn’t agree but you kept over talking me and she shut my microphone off what do you do in this case I was so wrongly accused and on top of that my roommate’s cases were dismissed last June

  50. Ricardo Martinez

    The book, “Political Prisoner,” by Paul Manafort, is the perfect example of this awful abuse of prosecutorial discretion, mostly in the United States of America. It is worth reading, as it shows how prosecutors can mislead juries to convict someone on the basis of what in real life are mere juridical fictions, as in Manafort’s case. At most, Manafort could have been guilty of tax evasion on one count, and yet out of 28 counts he was finally convicted in several counts. All of this, incidentally, as a part of that which now has been established as the “Russiangate” hoax, namely a politically motivated prosecution, actually two prosecutions against Manafort, to get President Trump.

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