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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Essay on Ineffective Counsels - Defendant's Right to Competent Counsel
A counsel is ineffective if he fails to do what is required of him or if he performs an act that he is not required to perform. It is the duty of a counsel to exert his best effort so that the accused will be given his day in court. This means that he has to present the best defense possible so that the accused may be given the chance to be heard in court. However, there are many instances when the counsel intentionally does not represent the accused to the best of his ability.
An accused is ineffective when he advises his client to plea guilty to a crime which he does not commit. This usually happens during plea bargaining. Studies say that majority of the cases now are being disposed by plea bargaining with only ten percent (10%) of the accused getting the benefits of their constitutional rights. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the late 1990s, 94 percent of the convictions of state-court felony defendants in the seventy-five largest U.S. counties were by guilty plea rather than trial (Albert W. Alschuler, 2002, p.1). Similarly, 94 percent of all federal-court felony convictions were by guilty plea (Albert W. Alschuler, 2002, p.1).
It must be stressed that when the counsel advises his client to plead guilty to a crime which he does not commit just so he could receive a lesser penalty, the accused fails to defend the case of his client to the best of his ability. The counsel also fails to use the other defenses which are recognized by law.
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