There seems to be a belief, regrettably by even lawyers, that a defendant worsens his sentencing prospects by vigorously contesting his case at trial.
This belief may be informed by experience and knowledge of judges’ sentencing propensities.
Whether the belief is informed or not, it is incontestable that defendants are entitled to a fair trial and are not supposed to be penalized for exercising their constitutional right to a fair trial.
GOGO will not allow the criminal justice system to detract from or otherwise diminish a defendant’s right to a fair trial by this veiled threat that a defendant risks a penalty by exercising the right.
Further, nobody should plead guilty to any offense unless they know for sure what sentence will be imposed.
This sentencing is normally part of the negotiations that should go on between the defendant and the prosecutor as part of the plea agreement.
GOGO will also institute a safety valve that allows a defendant to change his plea if the Judge intends to exceed the agreed upon sentence.
This will prevent the Akuapem Polo situation where the Judge sends a defendant to prison against the prosecution and the defense request for a non-custodial sentence.
Prison is not a play ground. It should be reserved for hard-core criminals who have had the benefit of effective legal counsel.
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