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Why innocent people plead guilty

Washington residents may be interested to learn that there are an average of three exonerations in the United States every single week. An exoneration can occur when it becomes apparent that a person who admitted to committing a crime did not actually do so.

There are several reasons people may plead guilty to crimes they did not commit. Often, a person can exchange a guilty plea for reduced charges. This means that the potential prison sentence and other punishments may be reduced. Further, people could confess to a crime if they are suffering conditions of anxiety, fear and exhaustion. Another problem is that there may be a lack of adequate defense. They may opt for reduced penalties if they believe that their attorney will not provide an adequate defense for them.

There are many people who deny that innocent individuals are accepting guilty pleas. Some people may be uncomfortable to think that the criminal justice system is not as fair as it is touted to be. Others may simply get satisfaction from someone taking the fall for a crime that was committed even if they didn't do so.

People who are facing felony charges need a strong defense especially if the prosecution has no evidence that they actually committed the crime. A criminal law attorney may create a defense based on the circumstances surrounding the case. For example, the attorney may use witness testimony, the person's alibi and any other evidence that potentially shows that the person could not have committed the crime.

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