Others, like the state’s chief Public Advocate, Ed Monahan, and Joe Blaney of the Innocence Project, contend there are times when an innocent defendant nonetheless agrees to plead guilty – for a variety of reasons, usually to avoid an even longer or harsher sentence.
Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, has a similar bill in the House which does not include the exceptions of guilty or Alford pleas. He has sponsored such a bill in the past but couldn’t get it passed in the Senate.
Bell said Monday afternoon his bill will receive a hearing Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee. He said he understands prosecutors concerns about some guilty pleas but he doesn’t understand the exception for Alford Pleas.
The final Senate vote was 38-0 in favor of the bill.