Plea agreements are often made in the prosecution of rape and sexual assault cases. Pleas or Alford pleas allow for some admission that the evidence is present but also allows for the defendant to not admit guilt. Sentences are usually suspended with provisions that the offender is placed on a sex offense registry. In some cases, pleas are made so the defendant will testify against someone in another case or within the same case.
As I peruse the news, there are several cases around the country where similar cases are handled. Except in New York. In a case this month, such sentencing resulted in outrage in the community over leniency in sentencing and a lack of remorse shown in such arrangements. Here the judge rejects the plea and is forcing a reexamination of the case and recommending the case to go to trial.
While all cases are unique, it does remain a valid question as to what is effective in the prosecution of rape cases. Are the use of plea agreements with suspended time and non-admission of guilt really punishment? Are suspended sentences really effective in deterring these offenders from raping again? What message does this really send our community?