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What is an “Alford Plea?”

The Alford Plea seems to be the plea of choice for corrupt government officials. In this form of guilty plea, the defendant pleads guilty while maintaining a claim of innocence. Is this twisted legalese or what? Only the state can come up with this kind of convoluted nonsense.

So where did the Alford Plea come from?

The Alford guilty plea originated in the United States Supreme Court case of North Carolina v. Alford (1970), and is a form of nolo contendere; where the defendant in the case states “no contest” to the factual matter of the case.

What do you think?

- cjoyce

One Comment : Leave a Reply

  1. Tanya says:

    I think there was a need for this type of plea. Bambi Bembenec comes to mind. She was convicted of murder, escaped, captured, and won a new trial. It was way smarter to take the plea of no contest than to risk what would happen if she were convicted. They offered her time served if she did this instead of going to trial. She got to go home and was no longer on the run. She later fought to have it overturned. I believe the Alford Plea is for similar situations where the evidence is really leaning toward a conviction, so you take the plea to avoid the many years or in many cases you take the plea to avoid a lengthy trial. I’ve often heard people offered “time served” but they don’t want to say they are guilty. This was made for them.

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