A plea is quite common in a court of law as it is an objection made by someone against a reported complaint. One enters into a plea in criminal cases generally. It is a well known fact that the person who is subjected to a criminal case is liable to imprisonment if he/she fails to clear his/her part. But when it comes to Alford plea there is a slight change in definition. It is a guilty plea of a defendant who appears to be an innocent of the crime. It is a technique used by the accused person or his advocate when the evidence against the accused is so strong as to put him/her behind the bars.
How to Use the Plea Law
As I had mentioned in the earlier statement, the plea law is generally used by a person to escape from a sure punishment that would follow if the judge finds him to not show remorse through a confession. It is used as a shield by the defendant or the advocate when their points of arguments become useless and does not seem to help in escaping the punishment. It is also used when the evidence against the accused is so strong and it will lead to conviction. The plea can also play an important role in delaying the final verdict of the case.
When it comes to the stage of the Supreme Court, the plea does not provide a full and fair hearing on the issues in the case. It does not prevent later litigation of the issues.
Effects of the Plea
The plea law had several good effects upon different categories of people. For West Memphis 3,
the plea law allowed them to walk free even without a re-trial which may have resulted in their conviction. In the same manner, prosecutors had their own difficulties due to the use of plea.
The plea law had helped a few convicts to escape harsh sentences of life imprisonment and even the gallows. Even though, one can argue that the allowance of a plea is like a bittersweet for families of the victims, it is a policy that seeks to balance competing interests when closure is clearly out of reach.
Let me conclude that, the Alford plea is neither a full admission of innocence nor guilt. It can serve as both the way to avoid trial or sure punishment, at the same time can also help those who are genuinely innocent but cannot prove so in a court of law due to lack of evidence.