Monday, July 22, 2013

What exactly is a plea of "No Contest"?

As we all know, embattled City of South Miami police chief, Orlando Martinez de Castro, took a plea of no contest in his case before the Miami Dade County Commission on Ethics.  While we all know what a plea of "no contest" means, let's take a look at the definition as provided by
n. in criminal law, a defendant's plea in court that he/she will not contest the charge of a particular crime, also called nolo contendere. While technically not an admission of guilt for commission of the crime, the judge will treat a plea of "no contest" as such an admission and proceed to find the defendant guilty as charged. A "no contest" plea is often made in cases in which there is also a possible lawsuit for damages by a person injured by the criminal conduct (such as reckless driving, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault), because it cannot be used in the civil lawsuit as an admission of fault. "No contest" is also used where there has been a "plea bargain" in which the defendant does not want to say he/she is guilty but accepts the sentence recommended by the prosecutor in exchange for not contesting the charge (which is often reduced to a lesser crime). It is standard practice for the judge to ask either the attorneys or the defendant, "Is there a factual basis for the plea?" before accepting it and finding the defendant guilty.
Simple enough.  I think this bit is most interesting...
While technically not an admission of guilt for commission of the crime, the judge will treat a plea of "no contest" as such an admission and proceed to find the defendant guilty as charged
While there was no judge in the ethics case, there was a quasi judicial board that had to approve the chief's plea deal.  And remember, regardless of how lame the outcome of the case was, the advocate for the Ethics Commission, Michael Murawski, did say...
There is substantial evidence to show that De Castro was, in fact, well aware that his department did business with his wife’s company...
The obvious question is despite the airtight case against the chief, why the hell did the ethics commission cut him a deal?  We think we answered that last week.  The only question that remains to be asked then is why did the chief take this plea rather than go ahead to trial?  We're going to examine why and discuss further tomorrow.


  1. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

    So, Strawbuyer, when you write:
    "We're going to examine why and discuss further tomorrow"
    what DO you mean by "tomorrow" ?

    Please start an email or Twitter feed to your regular readers (as Crespo has done) so we know when you have a new post and don't fret away our valuable time hitting the fucking refresh button on your otherwise worthwhile blog.

  2. Its called an RSS feeder that icon looks like a speaker?? on the right in the address window click on it and subscribe..

    1. I don't see an RSS feed button, just the "Join this site" button put there so Fatman can look up the NCIC records of members and intimidate them. EyeOnMiami has a "subscribe" button that creates an RSS feed.

  3. No No, Look up, up at the top of your browsers title bar THE STRAW BUYER: ETC. ETC....,
    then below that in the Address bar/window http://thestrawbuyer.etc the end is an icon or this icon RSS
    maybe this can explain-