The Campaign For DA

8.19.2006

Oh, My!

Rebecca Simpson's sentenced reduced to 5 years! (Star Telegram story). This is odd. There is no question that a lawyer must inform his client of any plea offers and failure to do so is ineffective assistance of counsel. The very unique aspect of this case is that the judge ruled the plea bargain offer was still valid so that the defendant could still accept it. If the judge had denied the motion for new trial but an appellate court had reversed the case for ineffectie assistance, the remedy would simply have been a new trial. And check out this reason the defense lawyer gave for not communicating the plea bargain offer:

"I don't believe for a moment that she would have ever entertained any plea offer that would have involved a prison sentence," Jack said. "She signed a contract on a house, paid for a $83,000 Mercedes in full six weeks before the trial, and was planning to get married in Hawaii after the trial was over.These are not the actions of someone preparing to go to prison."