Sunday, June 26, 2011

Curry No Different From Brizzi When It Comes To Outrageous Plea Agreements

It looks like it's business as usual at the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office. Special plea agreements for special people allow persons who committed serious crimes, including murder, to walk away with a slap on the hand. A former special deputy for the Marion Co. Sheriff's office shot and killed another man, but Curry cut a plea agreement his high profile criminal defense attorney James Voyles, who only wealthy people can afford to hire, that will allow Bruce Jacobs to skate on reckless homicide charges. From the Star's Carrie Ritchie:

The family of a deceased Indianapolis man is outraged by the plea deal offered to the former Marion County Sheriff's Department special deputy who shot him.
Bruce Jacobs pleaded guilty Thursday to reckless homicide, a Class C felony, for fatally shooting his neighbor, Edward Light, in August 2009 in the 2000 block of Forest Manor Avenue.
But according to the terms of his plea agreement, Jacobs won't serve much time in prison.
"This is just total injustice," Mike Baker, Light's cousin by marriage, said after Jacobs' court hearing Thursday afternoon.
Jacobs' plea deal calls for him to be sentenced to an eight-year prison term, but after being booked into prison and evaluated by the Department of Correction, he would be allowed to come back to Marion County and serve the rest of his time on probation . . .
Even Marion Superior Court Judge Kurt Eisgruber, who presided over the case, called the plea agreement "a little more unusual than a normal case." . . .
Indianapolis attorney James Voyles, who represented Jacobs, said the state offered the plea deal, and there were no special reasons behind the proposed sentence.
Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson couldn't say why they offered an agreement with those particular terms, but she said it's not the first time those terms have been part of a plea agreement . . .
Baker said Light's family wants Jacobs to serve prison time, not probation.
"This is just telling all criminals that you can go and shoot people and you'll get off scot-free."
According to Ritchie's story, Curry's office didn't even have the decency to communicate to Light's family the lenient plea agreement to which it had agreed. Light's family assumed a man charged with murder would do a few decades in prison. One comment on the Star's website pretty much sums up the state of the criminal justice system in Indianapolis:
Justice System #1: For the wealthy, government officials, well-connected, and law enforcement. Light sentences if convicted, dismissals, acquittals, expungement of criminal records.
Justice System #2: For everyone else. Guaranteed conviction and prison sentence; even if there's not much evidence to support one. Unemployable for the rest of one's life.

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