Maricopa County attorney adopts new policies for plea deals

Maricopa County attorney adopts new policies for plea deals
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PHOENIX (AP) - The top prosecutor for most of metro Phoenix is adopting new policies that she says refocuses how her office approaches plea agreements to resolve pending criminal cases.

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said the new prosecution policies and plea procedures put fresh emphasis on assessing the circumstances of individual defendants and on promoting a “treatment first” approach to drug possession cases.

Adel said in a statement announcing the new policies and procedures on Monday, Aug. 17, that she wants to give her office’s prosecutors more leeway to consider defendants as individuals without basing plea offers on a mathematical forum or other standardized practices.

Specific changes include reducing to 20 years from 35 years the prison time in a presumptive offer for a plea agreement in cases of child abuse, dangerous crimes against children and sex offenses.

Other changes include providing new guidance to prosecutors on handling drug cases and on possibly easing plea-agreement terms involving dangerous offenses.

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