woman takes plea bargain rather than let self-defense case go to trial - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Here a short interpretation and summary of the story:
A woman claims she was brutally assaulted and raped, but she did not report it at the time because she was scared. She did tell her brother and a gas station attendant though (she said in case she ended up being killed, he could report it to police).
Later, her brother got into a fight with the alleged rapist. The brother had set down his gun and was physically fighting with the (alleged) rapist, in front of the woman, but the woman saw that her brother was losing the fight, so she grabbed the gun and shot the man.
The judge and prosecutor refused to dismiss the case. Rather than have it head to a jury and risk a possible life sentence, the woman pleaded guilty in order to have the prosecutor and judge take it easier on her. She plead guilty in order to a get a greater certainty of less prison time.

This is yet another example of how plea bargains can coerce defendants into pleading guilty, even though they would have preferred to take their case to trial.


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An Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to murdering a man, who she said raped her. Brittany Joyce Smith, 32, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to AL.com. Under the terms, however, she is set to only serve 18 months in the Jackson County Jail, and 18 months on house arrest. Her lawyer said that she will be let out from behind bars in about seven months because of time served.

Smith was due to stand trial next month in the death of Todd Smith (no relation). She said that he attacked her at her home, head-butted her, choked her until she passed out, raped her, and threatened to kill her. The defendant said that she did not report this because she was afraid, but did leave the name of her attacker with a gas station attendant in case she ended up dying.

She said that her brother Chris McCallie confronted Todd Smith about the alleged rape. Her brother put down his gun after accidentally firing it into a cabinet, and got into a fight with Todd Smith. The defendant said she fatally shot her rapist as he winning the fight, and threatening to kill them both.

The defense asserted that the shooting was legal under the Alabama "Stand Your Ground" law. But the courts ruled against Brittany Smith. She had to face a jury.

"My baby girl doesn't deserve this," her mother Ramona McCallie told AL.com in a phone interview. The defendant's boyfriend Michael Steele also said he believes she is innocent, and said she pleaded guilty because she was scared.

"She was backed against the wall, afraid she was going to spend the rest of her life in prison," he said.

The defendant faced a possible life sentence if convicted at trial.

"In any case, you've got to weigh what you know and can control with what you can't," defense lawyer Ron Smith said. “We have no control over a jury or a judge that would sentence her."​

After Losing 'Stand Your Ground' Argument, Woman Pleads Guilty to Murdering Man She Said Raped Her, October 11, 2020
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/af ... d=msedgntp
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Note that because she pleaded guilty, she will only have to serve 7 additional months in prison.
If she did not plead guilty, she faced the legal possibility of life in prison.

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