Is It Legal to Use Additional Charges to Sway a Defendant to Plead Guilty ?
In Bordenkircher v. Hayes, 434 U.S. 357, 363-65, 54 L. Ed. 2d 604, 610-12, 98 S. Ct. 663, 668-69 (1978), the Court held that additional charges may be used to induce a defendant to plead guilty.
"Once that conclusion was accepted, it necessarily followed that it did not matter whether the 'additional' charges were obtained in the original indictment or merely threatened in plea negotiations and obtained once those negotiations broke down." United States v. Goodwin, 457 U.S. 368, 73 L. Ed. 2d 74, 102 S. Ct. 2485 (1982)
The Goodwin court stated:
"Just as a prosecutor may forgo legitimate charges already brought in an effort to save the time and expense of trial, a prosecutor may file additional charges if an initial expectation that a defendant would plead guilty to lesser charges proves unfounded." Goodwin, 457 U.S. at 380, 73 L. Ed. 2d at 85, 102 S. Ct. at 2492.
Bordenkircher concerned plea negotiations, the break down of the negotiations, and the prosecutor carrying out his threat to have defendant indicted on more serious charges if he did not plead guilty to the offense with which he was originally charged.