back to article Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon's lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

Marcus Hutchins’ British supporters believe his best chance of getting home within the next few years is to accept a plea deal with US prosecutors, some of them opined last night. Nobody present appeared to seriously believe that Hutchins is guilty, but knowledge of the US legal system's slant against defendants did not appear …

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Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

But...

Will the 'Prosecure to the Max' legion of US District Attourneys accept a plea of anything less than 25-life especially where he does jail time outside of a solitary in SuperMax prison? eg, come back here to serve his time...

Somehow I doubt it.

As was quoted in the BBC Podacst 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt', 'He's spending six million on his defence, of couse he is going to get off'. He can't afford to fight this.

The moral is clearly, don't go to Trump's USA if you have done anything worse than get a few parking tickets.

kain preacher Silver badge

Re: But...

A few things to get straight mate. In the US the prosecutor has no say so in what prison you go to. Secondly super max is only for violent offenders or people who commit repeat criminal offense behind bars. Thirdly isolation is for punishment when you screw up in prison the prosecutor can not ask for it. Lastly I don;t know why people in here seem to be caught up with this idea that every one will get these supper long prison sentence . First off the crime is accused of caps at 20 years. It's very rare for a first time offender to get the max for a non violent crime.,

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: But...

Lastly I don;t know why people in here seem to be caught up with this idea that every one will get these supper long prison sentence

Because that is how US justice works; tariffs have very flexible ranges, and they charge you with something ridiculous and over the top that, if convicted, will keep you in prison for ages. They then follow up with a plea bargain offer for something much more reasonable, because that then counts as a "win" for both police and DA without any of that pesky evidence crap or convincing 12 other people.

PS: Supper long prison sentences would massively reduce the overcrowding in prison cells.

kmac499

Re: But...

"First off the crime is accused of caps at 20 years."

Where we come from that is a long time. But I suppose compared to the centruy plus terms some inmates are serving it's a breeze.

Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

Re: But...

"Thirdly isolation is for punishment when you screw up in prison the prosecutor can not ask for it. Lastly I don;t know why people in here seem to be caught up with this idea that every one will get these supper long prison sentence ."

Do you not recall the case of Chelsea Manning?

staggers

Re: But...

Err, you don't think 20 years is a super long sentence. You know, given that no one outside the continental USA thinks he has done anything wrong in the first place?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

Whether or not it's rare for a first time offender in the USA to get the maximum sentence for a non-violent crime or not is a matter I have no information and therefore no opinion on.

I note, however, that sometimes in the USA you get cases such as that of Timothy Leary back in 1965, who got a sentence of 30 years, $30,000, and compulsory psychiatric treatment - as a result of taking responsibility for his daughter carrying a small amount of cannabis.

That was Leary's first criminal offence (at least, the first one he'd been caught at), no violence was involved, and look at the sentence he got.

(What Timothy did next got quite, erm, interesting, but that's a whole load of other stories)

kain preacher Silver badge

Re: But...

attempting suicide was the reason they gave. And yes they do put people in isolation for that

kain preacher Silver badge

Re: But...

Well you got me there. The US had some fucked up drug laws up until the 90's

kain preacher Silver badge

Re: But...

I was a responding to the poster that suggest he was up for life.

Uffish

Re: A few things to get straight mate

Granted, but nothing you have said makes me think that justice will be served in this case.

P. Lee Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: But...

>"First off the crime is accused of caps at 20 years."

Next time, don't shout in your email.

DougS Silver badge

@kain preacher

The US had some fucked up drug laws up until the 90's

Do you think they are NOT fucked up now? AG Sessions is bringing back extra harsh sentences for drug crime, part of Trump's "get tough on crime" thing - since he is preaching the republican lie that crime is a huge problem (murders and all other violent crimes been declining steadily since the early 90s nationwide, though their alternative facts do not acknowledge this reality)

Long sentences for marijuana are just stupid. What they ought to do is jail the doctors and pharmacists who are knowingly writing/accepting bogus prescriptions for people obviously addicted to opioid painkillers. Prescription drug abuse is the biggest problem right now, and the obvious way to attack it is to hit those supplying it to the street dealers and addicts. Unfortunately doctors and pharmacists are white, and prosecutors prefer to go after blacks and hispanics since they can't afford attorneys so it helps their 'numbers'.

Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

Re: @kain preacher

murders and all other violent crimes been declining steadily since the early 90s nationwide

Don't know about that. Was Chicago like Aleppo in the 90s? Currently it's just like Dodge city.

One could say that violent offenders are now locked away (you know the headline "violent crime rate goes down in spite of soaring prison population" etc.) but then again, who trusts the prison industry?

Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
Holmes

@AC ... Re: But...

The moral of the story is to first learn what you are talking about.

The DAs always talk hard and the harder they talk, the more likely the case against the person is BS.

They want him to take the plea deal because its a win for them and they can notch their belt and move on.

The question is what evidence does the FBI have against him?

In terms of getting an indictment, any evidence that is proffered is accepted at face value to be true. Its at trial when the defense team can take apart the evidence and convince a jury that he is innocent.

Taking a plea deal is an admission of guilt in exchange for a lighter sentence.

If they have real solid evidence, he should take the deal.

If they don't. He shouldn't.

If he's completely innocent, he shouldn't, and should fight it.

With a felony conviction, he could be free to go back to the UK, however, he will have no career in IT, and could be limited where he could travel. Some countries will refuse him entry because of his conviction.

I am not suggesting he is innocent or guilty, but that you need to understand the situation of what is real and what is not. You have a twisted fantasy of the guy being sent to supermax for a white collar crime.

Gen Pop would be way more dangerous, depending where he is sent.

Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
Trollface

@Tom Re: But...

PS: Supper long prison sentences would massively reduce the overcrowding in prison cells.

But what will they give you for dessert ?

DougS Silver badge

@Destroy All Monsters

https://espnfivethirtyeight.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/arthur-murderchicago.png

Chicago's murder rate is still lower than it was, though it has risen a lot and may hit a new record if it keeps increasing at the recent rate. Even if keeps rising and becomes higher that doesn't change the fact that nationwide it has dropped massively since the peak in the early 90s. That some places see much bigger declines than average and others see much smaller declines - or even increases - is not unexpected. You won't get exactly the same percentage drop everywhere in the country.

Mephistro Silver badge
Unhappy

Do you work in IT?

Don't go there!

2460 Something
Unhappy

Re: Do you work in IT?

That seems to be the real solution. The USA is just another oppressive regime and should be added to the do not travel list. Nobody should be hosting any IT related conferences there,

Uncle Slacky Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Do you work in IT?

I think that advice applies no matter what you do.

FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Do you work in IT?

"The USA is just another oppressive regime and should be added to the do not travel list."

The second they put the strict regs in post 9/11 and started treating all non-US nationals as criminals I vowed to never set foot there again. I would love to see some of the sights again. a wander in Central Park on a sunny Sunday morning. New England in the Autumn. The wonderfully hospitable people of the south and midwest. Such a shame, beautiful country, wonderful people, diabolical government that simply doesn't want anyone to visit ever again.

NonSSL-Login

Re: Do you work in IT?

Made a negative comment about the US on any social media or public forum? Don't go there....

Say's a lot when citizens of first world countries would feel safer going to Afghanistan or Iraq than a trip to America.

Anonymous Blowhard

US Justice

Innocent until forced into accepting a plea-bargain...

Daedalus Silver badge

Re: US Justice

The Feds, unlike State prosecutors, are not known for plea bargaining. He's toast.

Haku Silver badge

Burn the witch!

I got this weird feeling like I'm reading a news piece about a bunch of pitchfork weilding villagers who lynched the one outsider who came to defend them against an evil digital monster and decided his knowledge of the 'dark arts' meant he was to blame for something else they also couldn't understand.

FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

Re: Burn the witch!

They have form, Salem isn't known for it's ice cream sales!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

This is where our country should be stepping in, the evidence should be examined by the home secretary and they should be told to either try him or return him. I also believe that should work both ways and you should also be tried in the country where you committed the crime with recompense to the victim if appropriate regardless.

Anything has to better than this one sided shambles we have now.

Special relationship my arse.

James O'Shea Silver badge

"This is where our country should be stepping in, the evidence should be examined by the home secretary and they should be told to either try him or return him."

Good luck with that. The Feds have him, the UK gov has zero point zero repeating leverage. There is simply no way that the Feds can be forced to give Hutchins up short of sending the SAS to Las Vegas to bust him out.

"I also believe that should work both ways and you should also be tried in the country where you committed the crime"

that's not going to happen. For one thing, the legal systems are too different. For another, the Feds have him and HM Gov has absolutely nothing to trade for him. Literally all they can do is send someone from the nearest consulate to stand and watch the Feds do whatever they bloody feel like doing. HM Gov simply cannot do a damn thing.

" with recompense to the victim if appropriate regardless."

one problem that those who think the way you do have is that y'all managed to convince the UK gov to NOT extradite McKinnon and Love. This means that the Feds will be _certain_ that if they let Hutchins out of their grasp they'll never see him again. And they know, from previous examples (see, for example, the Frogs who blew up Rainbow Warrior) that odds are that there would be no trial in the UK if Hutchins were to be allowed out. For one thing, UK public opinion would crucify the gov if they tried... and both HM Gov and the Feds know this.

Nah, he's fried.

h4rm0ny Silver badge

Whilst it's possible that they only acquired the information that he was a criminal during the convention, the more likely scenario is that they waited until he set foot in the USA because they knew that their evidence would either not be sufficient for the UK's justice system or alternately because it would expose a chain of evidence that was illegal (e.g. warrantless surveillance, unapproved spying on a European country). My money would be on the former, but I'd say either is much more likely than them just suddenly finding out he'd done something whilst there.

So either way, it implies that the USA will not be handing over evidence to us with which to try him. If they had sufficient evidence / such evidence were legally acquired, then we have some pretty generous extradition treaties with the USA that they could have used. Note, I don't know whether he's guilty of wrongdoing or not - I've no way of knowing. But the above does imply there'd be no conviction in the UK.

FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
Happy

"Special relationship my arse."

No, no we still have a special relationship with the US, the sort that's like a 30st businessman and a 7st Thai hooker!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Nah, he's fried

Uh, careful. That's not the best expression to use in connection with the US of A. Not that it is likely happen in this case, but let's not give them any ideas, shall we?

Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
Thumb Up

Hell yeah

sending the SAS to Las Vegas to bust him out

FUND THIS!!

Mike Richards Silver badge

Re: Hell yeah

Before you all stock up on big boots and balaclavas, it is worth pointing out he's in Milwaukee...

Solarflare

"98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Jesus, that statistic is terrifying. Land of the free indeed...

Graybyrd
Windows

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

In a landmark 1970 case (Brady vs. United States) the US Supreme Court validated the plea bargain practice, which had since the beginning of the century grown to become commonplace. It has faced no serious challenge since, and it is generally accepted that without plea bargains, the US court system would collapse, overwhelmed under the burden of citizens demanding their perceived "Constitutional Right" to a jury trial, a right which is honored in theory but which--in practical terms--no longer exists. In essence, we, the American people, have accepted that it is preferable to sacrifice the rights of the innocent to more efficiently prosecute the guilty.

After all, we assume, if charges are brought, one is probably guilty of the crime; thus a possible three or four years in jail awaiting trial is simply "pre-payment" on the sentence to come. Thus a prompt plea agreement avoids all that messiness, includes time served in the final sentencing, and prevents a judicial backlog.

Moral of the story: do not, ever, be charged with a crime in the United States of America. It was once said that our system of justice grinds slow but exceedingly fine. Now, in this age, it grinds all within its grasp exceedingly fine, swiftly.

Haku Silver badge

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

The US has more prisoners than any other country, including China.

http://www.icpr.org.uk/media/41356/world_prison_population_list_11th_edition.pdf

"There are more than 2.2 million prisoners in the United States of America, more than 1.65 million in China (plus an unknown number in pre-trial detention or ‘administrative detention’), 640,000 in the Russian Federation, 607,000 in Brazil, 418,000 in India, 311,000 in Thailand, 255,000 in Brazil and 225,000 in Iran."

Most certainly the number one country in which you don't want to be accused of a crime.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Fake as all fuck. I've had my run ins with the law when I was a kid, (very old now) and know plenty of people that been in similar. They ONLY time I've seen anyone take a plea deal is when they were guilty and it worked to their own advantage. You watch to much TV/propaganda. Life in the US is not what you seam to think it is. I can't judge you're country, since I don't have experience there. No doubt some people just like to judge on limited information. The worst part of the US is the crappy news media (CNN, FOX, and so on) that almost only reports on things to cause fear and hate. Believe me, the media here rips on every country, making people think every place is terrible, including the UK. But I know better, people are people - not what the media want's me to believe/fear.

Mahhn

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

"The US has more prisoners than any other country,"

and most of them are in for possession of drugs....... not the ideal treatment.

h4rm0ny Silver badge

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

In addition to all of the above, it should be noted that the prison industry is worth $4.8bn in the USA per annum. Actual profits (i.e. excluding salaries) are around $700m per annum in return to investors. This creates an enormous incentive to incarcerate people. As felons are also denied their right to vote, that further reduces the ability to fight against the system through normal democratic means.

Prison labour also provides a source of captive labour to be exploited. That makes money for the prison owners and also, as with slavery, suppresses local wages of non-convicts.

We got our first private prisons in the UK in the 1990s and there have been attempts by the government since then to increase the allowance of prison labour. Prisoners can be paid less than £2 per hour.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/plan-for-cheap-prison-work-may-cost-thousands-of-jobs-7815140.html

staggers

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Jesus. That, as stated earlier, truly IS terrifying.

And as I've said in other posts, the US is going to hell in a handbasket. Although I think it's largely there now.

I don't suppose I'll live to see it, but I can't help wondering if there won't be another American civil war. Both sides are heavily armed. Would troops shoot their own people (whites, obviously, since blacks demonstrably don't count).

Back in the 70s, we had relatives in Ohio farming country. Back of beyond. Near the Canadian border. Family went there for holiday. At weekends everyone piled into the Winebago and went... to Canada. No border crossing rubbish. At the destination all the Canadians knew these were Yanks, they were all friends, and no passports were ever involved, because no official crossings were ever used. Canadians went the other way, too, to see bands and things like that. Authorities knew, didn't care. Because they knew that if something nasty was going on, they would be told.

Those were the days. When authorities could be trusted by people and the authorities didn't view their own citizens as the enemy. In the US they say you can't fight city hall. Well, if politicians keep treating you like their servants, sooner or later something unpleasant will happen.

Here in the UK we're probably too polite. But l can't help thinking something will happen over there.

And I thought our justice system was crap, because we don't have a written constitution, so we keep being told.

Having a written one doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.

Uffish

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

There is a painting in the Prado that corresponds to the descriptions given here of the American legal system.

https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/saturn/18110a75-b0e7-430c-bc73-2a4d55893bd6

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Moral of the story: do not, ever, be charged with accused of a crime in the United States of America.

FIFY. The moment you're in the claws of grandstanding legal wannabes, normal human beings don't stand a chance. Justice it ain't.

Mark 85 Silver badge

@Haku -- Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

I question those numbers. Does that include political prisoners or those undergoing "re-education"?

DropBear Silver badge

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

"There is a painting in the Prado"

Interesting, I had a different painting in mind thinking about US in general today, but apparently from the same painter - specifically, the one called "the sleep of reason produces monsters"...

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Add to that statistic that most states have laws on the books that convicted felons can't vote.

IE: accept a plea deal and you're disenfranchised.

This has been used to systematically disenfranchise the poor.

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

"Actual profits (i.e. excluding salaries) are around $700m per annum in return to investors. This creates an enormous incentive to incarcerate people. "

Up to and including bent judges sentencing people in return for kickbacks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal - and if you think that's an isolated case you're sadly mistaken.

Steve Evans

Re: "98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal."

Land of the locked up more like... Look at the proportion of the population they have locked up!

To save you the trouble, 0.7%... Round about the same figure as they estimate for North Korea!

European countries generally come in below 0.15%

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The US 'justice' system is corrupt

Police shooting black folks.

Poor people get locked up.

The innocent are imprisoned.

The rich go free.

The jails are run for profit.

My advice - avoid this corrupt, third-world, dangerous shithole.

mrobaer
Flame

Re: The US 'justice' system is corrupt

Police shooting black folks? Really?

Whites make up the majority of the population (75% roughly) and Blacks are making up about 13% of the population. Each murder victim in the US was killed by someone of their own race 90% of the time. That being said, there is a much larger percentage of murder within the black population than there is any other.

In 2015 there were 5,600 Black murder offenders, while there were 4,600 White murder offenders. Granted there were 4,800 "unknown" murder offenders, this still paints a grim picture of violence among the black population.*

The rest of your points are pretty good ones. The rich might not always go free, but they certainly fair better than the poor. It makes me wonder why you threw the "police killing blacks" in there at all. If anyone is concerned about Black Lives Mattering, it should be a movement that starts in Black homes.

* https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/expanded_homicide_data_table_3_murder_offenders_by_age_sex_and_race_2015.xls

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