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The Legal Aid Lawyer Who Tells the Innocent to Plead Guilty

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Do I ever advise clients who are innocent of the crimes to plead guilty to stuff they didn’t do? Absolutely. I can’t tell you how often I do that. What’s most surprising is how easy clients take it. They understand. The cops have video surveillance of you in the store where something got stolen. It doesn’t show you stealing anything, but there you are. So do you want to risk a trial where jurors might not like you? Maybe you had a prior arrest when you were younger, who knows? Or do you take a deal for three to six years, come home in three, maybe less? It’s not about fairness. The system has certain features that attempt to prevent injustice or give off an approximation of fairness, but at the end of the day, the courts are a mirror of life.

As told to Geoffrey Gray


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