Friday, July 15, 2011

Simpson: Manieri sentence worked out behind closed doors

Jerry Mitchell has a story today on the Jeremy Wayne Manieri story that brings up even more questions.  First, Mitchell details the missteps along the way by MDOC, who apparently failed to recognize that Manieri wasn't reporting or paying restitution any longer.  Then Mitchell gets quotes from Republican Attorney General nominee Stephen Simpson:
Simpson, then a circuit judge, said he gave Manieri one year in prison and one year suspended as part of an "open plea" in which the prosecution makes no recommendation. But behind closed doors, the prosecutor and defense attorney had worked out the sentence, he said.
Simpson goes on to detail the problems the prosecution had with their case, which is interesting, since just the other day the AP said:
Simpson said prosecutors reached a plea agreement in the case, so he didn’t have access to the evidence and based the sentence on the prosecuting attorney’s recommendation.

“I was given no reason by the prosecution to believe that the sentence requested by the Prosecuting Attorney was not just,” Simpson said in an email.
Question: If the State and the defense worked out a plea agreement, why did Simpson go through the kabuki theater of an "open" plea? Why not just announce the recommendation of the District Attorney?

Expect more stories on this throughout the weekend....

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