Monday, May 21, 2007

Louis Robles plea deal rejected

Judge Alan Gold refused to accept the deal agreed to by prosecutors and defense lawyers which would have resulted in Louis Robles, the 59 year old asbestos lawyer, serving 10 years in federal prison (previous coverage here). The deal also had the blessing of Tom Tew, the receiver in charge of getting victims paid.

Query -- does a federal judge have the power to reject this sort of deal? Because this is a charge bargain deal, can't the government just dismiss the other counts on its own, leaving only the ten year maximum count? I think the real question is whether the government will have the heart to do this after Judge Gold has said he will not approve the deal. If in our adversarial system of justice the prosecution believes that a deal is fair, should a judge step in? Please give your thoughts in the comments.

This is just another odd turn in this very odd case. Just last week, Judge Gold took Robles into custody because Robles' girlfriend said he was hiring a pilot to flee overseas. The government stated that they did not believe that the girlfriend was being truthful.


Rumpole said...

Apparently congress anticipated Judges stepping into pleas when they designed a system in which prosecutors rarely can negotiate the specific terms of the plea.

I rarely admit to having any use for one who wears a robe beyond them saying motion denied before they eventually say "the jury having found you not guilty...."

But I have to admit at least an understanding of the argument on behalf of Judges, where a Judge would say (As Gold has) "if you plead guilty, then you admit you did this- and if you did this, then I believe this should be the sentence" where "this" is not what either party wanted.

The very important lesson here is that if you steal ten million- 1) hire a good pilot 2) don't get a girlfriend until you've been in Costa Rica a few months.

Anonymous said...

I have always found Judge Gold to be a reasonable man, any idea what his reasons were for rejecting the negotiated plea?

Anonymous said...

The Govt could have proceeded with the plea but chose to kiss the judge's ass instead.

Anonymous said...

eighteen yeears ago my husband died of mesothelioma-hearing how louis robles was the "asbestos maven of the east coast," i hired him. eighteen years later, i continue to wait for payment- in my estimation, what he has done to me and all of the thousands of unsuspecting clients like me, ten years in prison and repaying 13 million dollars is a slap on the wrist.