John Burkoff on Why Plea Negotiations Should Be Confidential
Professor John Burkoff commented on the prosecution's public rejection of a defendant's offer to plead guilty in a homicide case. With jury selection ongoing, the defendant offered to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in exchange for two life sentences. A spokesman for the Allegheny County publicly District Attorney stated that the office had rejected the offer. According to Professor Burkoff, plea negotiations should be confidential. "There's no reason to announce this rejection and potentially taint the jury pool. And in the future, what this may well do is chill the possibility of a plea deal in other cases."
See the full story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.