In the American criminal justice system, defendants in federal court can be convicted one of two ways -- by pleading guilty or after a trial.
Those who choose to admit their guilt are often "rewarded" with lesser sentences.
The concept of the plea is one of the major differences between criminal procedure under common law and procedure under the civil law system. Under common law, a plea of guilty by the defendant waives trial of the charged offences and the defendant may be sentenced immediately. This produces a system under American law known as plea bargaining.
A plea bargain is an agreement between a prosecutor and defendant whereby the prosecutor provides incentive for the defendant to plead guilty in order to avoid going to trial. Plea bargains can benefit defendants by guaranteeing particular outcomes. The two most common types of plea bargains are charge and sentence bargaining, where the first type reduces the charge(s), and the latter, the sentence(s). Fact bargaining is a less common type of plea bargain.
As we know now, Headley used this same plea to escape from his earlier offense of smuggling heroine into the US soil. He was not only “awarded” but he got a perfect opportunity to tie up with the elements in Pakistan.
Mr Headley came to the attention of the US security services in 1997 when he was arrested for heroin smuggling in New York. He earned a reduced sentence by working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) by infiltrating Pakistan-linked narcotics gangs.
In fact, there are people who wonder if he was working as a double agent for US. If not, one wonders why Headley has not been given access to Indian authorities even after the Pune blast. During Headley’s “high profile visits” (he rubbed shoulders with the high and mighty of Bollywood) which happened even after the Mumbai blasts, he did visit Pune too. Recently Cochin was at high alert since the “Karachi Project” is still being manned by those who continue to run scot free.
Today the news reads thus...
Also his being proven guilty and convicted in the US courts makes him inaccessible to Indian investigative agencies.
I guess now Headley shall escape capital punishment and will now be “rewarded” with a lighter sentence.
But will his admitting to certain offense aid in getting Kazab punished or shall we have one more deadly criminal to “cherish”.