A Sad Realization

I should have pled guilty.

My choice to maintain my innocence netted me a six year sentence. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t commit a crime – or that the detective, a 25 year veteran of the police force who was called to the scene, said as much under oath. I should have just pled guilty.

Inmates here at the USDB who brokered pre-trial agreements (PTAs) are serving drastically shorter sentences simply because they admitted to their crimes (some of which are far more egregious than what I was accused of) before their trials.

I didn’t even entertain the notion of a PTA. If I would have gone the PTA route, I would have had to convince a judge of my guilt rather than my innocence. Thus, if you are innocent and enter a PTA, then you’re lying to the judge – contempt, which is a crime. I’ve laid awake at nights wondering…if I’d just lied and accepted a PTA, how much shorter of a sentence and lesser of a charge could I have bartered for?

I wish someone would have told me how slim my chances of acquittal were before I chose this path.

The cherry on top? I’ll have to undergo “treatment” for the crime I was convicted of. A mandatory part of “treatment” is to accept responsibility for my crime. If I don’t willingly undergo this treatment, my chances of parole will shrink into a little black hole. So since I didn’t lie early on and barter for a PTA, I’ll be forced to lie now. I suppose I could stick to my guns, but what good would that do me? It’ll just keep me in here longer. It’s not like I’ll get out with a clean slate just because I maintain my innocence. And I really want to get out of here.

Seems like the guilty man wins all around. He gets a shorter sentence via his PTA, then he gets a favorable look from the parole board for accepting responsibility for his crime.

Hmmm…seems fair.

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One thought on “A Sad Realization

  1. While I can understand your logic, you may be underestimating the value of a clear/clean conscience. I’m assuming that you did what you thought was right at the time of the trial. You may regret this decision now, but integrity and strength are derived from following the dictates of conscience (and living with the sometimes painful consequences). Hang in there. This too will pass.

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