Re: Not exactly Lord Copper
Its not really pleading guilty if the only reason you do it is to avoid a potential life changing punishment. Once someone says to you "Plead guilty, we'll give you time served, otherwise we'll try for 20 years", everyone will take the deal.
In a country with a fair justice system, he might not have pleaded guilty, he might have pleaded not guilty, and argued that he didn't create malware, just a component that was used in malware.
Plea bargaining is seriously wrong, and I think it is symptomatic of the failure of purpose of America's justice system. People should be sentenced to prison for a period necessary to protect other citizens, and to rehabilitate the offender. It makes no sense to say that if you plead guilty before trial you require less rehabilitation. The American system is solely built around punishment and political engineering, which is why it doesn't work.