CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

CrimProf Steve Mulroy Discusses Reasons for DA's Plea Bargain With a Murderer

MulroyFrom University of Memphis Law School CrimProf Steve Mulroy recently discussed the Shelby County, Tenn. District Attorney Bill Gibbons' decision to approve the deal that reduced a possible death penalty case to one in which defendant Dale Mardis got just 15 years for killing code enforcement officer Mickey Wright.

Gibbons says if he hadn't offered a plea bargain, Mardis could have gotten even less time or no time at all.   The critical factor was a witness the prosecution couldn't count on to provide a motive.  Law enforcement also never found Wright's body. So, they didn't have the evidence it could provide.

CrimProf Steve Mulroy says the district attorney has to give the jury the evidence to match the conviction he seeks.

"In our system the prosecutor represents the state, represents the people not the victims or the victim's family. Certainly the prosecution is going to pay attention to what the victims have to say, but at the end of the day the prosecutor needs to make the call," said Mulroy. Rest of Story. . . [Mark Godsey]

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