On Tue, 27 Mar 2018 21:28:20 +0000 (UTC)
jim bell <jdb10987 AT yahoo.com
>> There is such a thing as "vindictive sentencing", which at least in
>> theory shouldn't happen. 7.95 4. Vindictive Sentencing | Norton
>> ToobyWhile that doesn't mean that it never does happen,
> but isn't that pretty much the basis of the whole system?
PRECISELY! But it's a very delicate system that only is able to "work" because prosecutors misuse the discretion that they really aren't given.
> either confess to whatever they accuse you of, or they will add 5 new
Still, what about the trial? Actually, "trials"? If you merely assume that they will, eventually, get a trial, then you've skipped an important step.
> so you can confess to, say, smoking pot, and get two years, or you
> can go to trial for "smoking pot while being near a gun' and that will
> get you 20 years. You might win at the trial but the chances are
> (very) low and the stakes a lot higher.
Which trial? If there are only 5,000 trials and 77,000 defendants, who doesn't get a trial?
> I'd assume that's not "vindicative sentencing" because in the later
case they are charging you with 'real crimes' and you are getting a
The principle of "vindictive sentencing" is that they aren't supposed to be able to sentence more subsequent to an appeal. (Which amounts to punishing people for exercising their Constitutional rights). Demanding a trial is also exercising a Constitutional right.
>> > I don't think the part about getting enough people to cooperate can
> be solved by offering them $3000.
>> Okay, that's an issue which needs to be resolved. How much would
>> it take? Remember, the offer does not have to attract all the
> yes, though I just realized I overlooked the calculation/got it
> wrong. If you have 10 millions and distribute them among 5000 people
> that's 2000 per person. I was thinking the $3000 figure came from 10
> millions divided by 70,000 people. So got a zero in math.
Well, the numbers are based on estimates. The current number of trials which are put on is 2,500 per year. I don't they they will exceed 4,000/year, but we can speculate that they could do 5,000/year.
> bottom line is, as far as I understand it, pleading not guilty is a
> high risk gamble
The key word you use? "Is". Currently. Now. Under existing circumstances. The way things are. Today.
Currently, only about 2,500 trials occur each year. We can assume this is not their limit, but I think their limit is under 5,000/year. So, since there are only 2,500 trials, if a new defendant is considering demanding a trial, he knows virtually for certain that the government will be able to give him one.
If, instead, the government is subjected to my project, and they are giving trials at what is virtually their limit (say, 5,000), and there are thousands of other defendants who are on the list demanding trials, "just one more person" asking for a trial is far less likely to actually get it. So, at that point, I think that "pleading not guilty" is no longer going to be a "high risk gamble".
> and it doesn't look as if getting $3000 or
> $30000 or even $300000 is a reasonale price for risking say 10 MORE
> years in jail.
The current average Federal sentence is about 2.8 years. I would suggest that most defendants, even if they plead not guilty, cannot expect to be sentenced to much more than this.
> so recapitulating : if a number of people agree to cooperate and
> demand a trial (even with no money incentive) that can throw a wrench
> in the system BUT the coordination required to do that seems to be a
> literal case of the so called prisioner's dilemma.
Well, I'd say it's worth trying.
Consider a specific example, Kim Dotcom has recently won part of his case, and is unlikely to be extradited. But if things had gone badly, and he had been extradited and brought to trial in America, he would be able to "purchase" perhaps 3-4,000 trials (for others) with only about 4% of his $200 million (?) wealth. He could clog up the system for a year. I would say that his best tactic would be to do exactly that.
> then, on the other hand, the bureaucratic 'legal' procedure may play
a crucial role here. If people can plead not guilty but then change
their mind then it may be possible for them to see if they can
reach a big enouhg number to be effective?
The operators of the system will be able to monitor the number of new defendants on a weekly or even daily basis. It will very soon be apparent how well the system is operating. And, I believe that once the system is "working", and making publicity, there will be no lack of donations.