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Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio highlights a Judge’s denial to allow a plea bargain in an opioid distribution case.

Transcript of the above video:

Finally tonight some good news from West Virginia as a judge fights to reveal the dark details of opioid distribution. U.S District Judge Joseph Goodwin refused to accept a plea bargain in a drug case saying that the deal “was made in the context of a clear, present, and deadly heroin and opioid crisis in this community.” Adding that, “The secrecy surrounding plea bargains in heroin and opioid cases frequently undermines respect for the law and deterrence of crime.”

Statistically the percentage of federal criminal convictions obtained by a plea bargain jumped from 50 percent in 1908 to 97 percent in 2015. That’s mostly because corporations are allowed to pay big fines and no one goes to jail in the plea bargain. Why such a jump, is justified by some saying that the courts and prosecutors are overwhelmed.

But it’s a hard justification to stand by when on average each federal prosecutor handled 0.29 cases as of 2016. In 1973 it was 8. West Virginia has the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in the country. Hopefully with this decision, all the dark details behind the corporate driven opioid crisis is brought to light no matter where the trail leads us.

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Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.