Live From OttawaU: Plea Bargains - A deal with the Devil?

So episode 52 - a new record.  But you know that right? Because you subscribe to the show on iTunes and have already rated and reviewed the podcast- right? You should.

A busy month at podcast headquarters here.  Emilie won her case at the Federal Court of Appeal! 

Last year Emilie ran in the general election for NDP in Ottawa-Vanier.  Emilie was a federal prosecutor (and a really good one) - but the Public Service Commission (her bosses) would not let her run in the election.  So Emilie quit her job and ran in the election anyway. Then she sued the government (Taman v. Canada) so other public servants would not have to chose between their jobs and their constitutional rights - and she won!

Emilie is running again as the NDP's candidate in Ottawa-Vanier in this years bi-election.  You can check out her Facebook page for more info.

Our little podcast also crossed the 200,000 download mark - yikes and thanks - and we won a coveted Clawbie award for best Canadian legal podcast.

To open 2017 we recorded our first episode in front of a live studio audience at the University of Ottawa. 

Plea bargains have turned into a bit of a dirty word. The public is often concerned about what can be perceived as a deal with the devil.  But in reality plea bargains are often more unfair to an accused than to the state.  The power imbalance between the machinery of the justice system and a single accused can be overwhelming. Often guilty pleas are far from voluntary - an innocent accused may be tempted to take a plea deal to avoid minimum sentence, to get out of hellish jail conditions, or to be reunited with their families.

Plea bargaining is an ethical quagmire for both prosecutors and defence lawyers.

So lets shine some light into a dark corner of the justice system and talk about it.

We also have some new art - it is still new because it is way easier to just copy and past this section each week - from an awesome young designer Parker Mazerolle - serious he is crazy good - go check out his work.

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Emilie Taman on Twitter: @EmilieTaman

Michael Spratt on Twitter: @mspratt

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