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March 17, 2006

Foster's impact on plea bargains and appeals

The Athens News has this terrific article discussing the Ohio Supreme Court's Foster decision, which found Blakely applicable to Ohio's structured sentencing system and adopted a Booker-type remedy.  The article does a particularly good job examining Foster's likely impact on plea bargaining and appellate review.

Some recent posts on Foster:

March 17, 2006 at 06:45 AM | Permalink


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Hello Mr. Berman:
I am not an attorney, but I try to stay abrest of
what is happening in the law. I've read Foster and
find the courts reasoning very interesting. I came
across a case recently that puzzled me. If plea
bargains are negotiated in Ohio, how is it that a
defendant can be convinced (by his attorney) to
sign a blank plea form with no hint of a "bargain"
at all. At sentencing, the judge stuck it to him.
What effect will Foster have on a case like this?

Posted by: Jonathan Jones | Jul 28, 2006 2:29:57 PM

I am a fifteen year old girl who lives in Virginia. I know someone in a horrible situation that he does not deserve to be in. There is a man in Botetourt County Virginia who was sent to jail for something he didn’t do. Steven Brain came to know a family who was not in the best financial shape. He allowed their daughter to come to his barn and ride horses with him. He took this girl to horse shows with him because her family wanted her to go and did not have the means to get her there. When this family, the Trumpeters, were on the verge of losing their house Mr. Brain loaned them money to pay their house payment. They turned to Mr. Brain again but he did not have the funds to help them. No time after that they had filed charges against him. The charges stated that he had given their daughter a letter containing adult information and had touched her inappropriately. The thing is the girl could not remember the date that the incident happened, she stated that it happened somewhere between the first of December and the last of December. I think that if something like that had happened to you, you would remember when. I have also spent quite a lot of time with Mr. Brain when no one else was there. He never tried anything, and I am the same age as the accuser and I have spent more time with him than she had. This makes me believe that the charges were not true in the least bit. Mr. Brain sought out legal advice from a well recommended lawyer from around here. I believe that he was not represented well. His lawyer told him from the beginning that there was no point in fighting it and that he would definitely go to jail for at least ten years. He told him that the only way he would be able to see his daughter grow up was to take the plea bargain. The thing is his lawyer misinformed him, he told Mr. Brain that probation would be exactly the same as bond. He also did not warn him that there was a chance of deportation. Mr. Brain took the plea bargain because it meant he only had to stay in jail three months and so he would be able to see the daughter, that he primarily raised, grow up/ Now that he was supposed to be released from jail, Mr. Brain has been informed that he is going to be sent out of the country. If he ever had known that it was likely to happen he would have never taken the chance. He is from England so he doesn’t have a very good understanding of our laws, he didn’t know the severity of what he was pleading guilty to, that is was he thought he could depend on Blaylock for. This is a man that has done nothing else wrong the whole time he has been here We have millions of illegal Mexicans in our country, breaking the law, that we supposedly can not do anything about, but we are going to send an Englishman who got a bad deal out of here. If we are sending him back because he broke the law then we should be able to send the Mexicans who are breaking the law just being here. Sending this man out of the country away from his daughter he loves is what would usually be called cruel and unusual punishment. I we send him away from her now he will never see his daughter again and that is like putting the gun to his head ourselves. We are a country built on freedom and second chances, where are those concepts now? What are we allowing our country to come to?

A concerned young American,

Lexie Surface

Posted by: Lexie Surface | Aug 10, 2006 8:51:30 PM

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Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 11:00:28 PM

The above email is basically a plee to let a man that did do the crime back into the USA because she and the family are friends with this man, not the fact that they have proof he is innocent. I am a friend of his ex patner he met her when he return to England, the past 2 years he has lied to her and everyone around him about his crimes and it was only when she became pregnant with his child he began to physically abuse her. This man put her in hospital when she was 6 months pregnant with his child and after beleiving he would not do it again she returned back into a relationship with him where he hurt her time and time again, until she got the nerve to leave and protect her child. He is not so innocent as she has stated that she has seen pictures and emails from young girl which were sexual, he has cheated and hurt so many women and cannot stop. He tried to date an 18yr old girl in the UK which is legal here and also had an infactuation of a girlfriends 16yr old daughter back in the US and was planning to move in with her when he got out of jail.
Just because the girl could not be certain of the actual date does not mean that this did not happen, my friend spent 2 years and had a child with this man, only to lie to her and abuse her and I am sicken to say that he deserves to be in jail from what I have seen and he does not deserve to be any near a young child even his children as they could be at risk. He knew exactly what the US laws where and he took a plea to get out of doing the full sentence. On his return to the UK they made sure he will remain on the Sex offenders list for Life and that is how it should be although he is still preying on young girls in the UK via his pc and dancing career.

A concerned British citizen

Posted by: Katie Sampson | Jan 14, 2009 10:39:28 AM

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Posted by: cheap computers | Mar 2, 2010 1:19:20 AM

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