History Main / IWontSayImGuilty

19th Jun '17 4:37:29 PM addikt
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* Basically every one of ''Literature/MickeyHaller'''s clients. Probably because it wouldn't be any fun to read a book about someone making a plea agreement. [[spoiler: However, this does not mean that they're ACTUALLY not guilty.]]
15th Jun '17 7:22:40 PM Anddrix
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** Pretty much all of ''Phoenix Wright'' in general. If a client is pleading innocent, then you'd better believe they're innocent. If they're pleading guilty, then they're either [[TakingTheHeat covering for someone]] or believe they did it, even when in truth they didn't. Never does Phoenix have a client who's actually guilty, [[GenreSavvy and he seems totally aware of that]], refusing to allow them to plead guilty no matter what.

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** Pretty much all of ''Phoenix Wright'' in general. If a client is pleading innocent, then you'd better believe they're innocent. If they're pleading guilty, then they're either [[TakingTheHeat covering for someone]] or believe they did it, even when in truth they didn't. Never does Phoenix have a client who's actually guilty, [[GenreSavvy and he seems totally aware of that]], that, refusing to allow them to plead guilty no matter what.
2nd Jun '17 2:02:19 PM Luigifan
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This trope should not be confused with NeverMyFault, which, in a context similar to this trope! would be this sort of attitude being held by someone who's '''actually guilty''', far too [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] to cop to it, and far too [[SmugSnake smug]] to accept a PleaBargain.

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This trope should not be confused with NeverMyFault, which, in a context similar to this trope! trope, would be this sort of attitude being held by someone who's '''actually guilty''', far too [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] to cop to it, and far too [[SmugSnake smug]] to accept a PleaBargain.
2nd Jun '17 1:46:40 PM Luigifan
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The version of this which actually exists in the world of criminal law is the plea of ''nolo contendere'' ("I do not wish to contend"), more commonly known as No Contest - entered when the defendant will accept the sentence but will not enter a guilty plea. Not accepted in all cases and jurisdictions.

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This trope should not be confused with NeverMyFault, which, in a context similar to this trope! would be this sort of attitude being held by someone who's '''actually guilty''', far too [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] to cop to it, and far too [[SmugSnake smug]] to accept a PleaBargain.

The version of this which actually exists in the world of criminal law is the plea of ''nolo contendere'' ("I do not wish to contend"), more commonly known as No Contest - -- entered when the defendant will accept the sentence but will not enter a guilty plea. Not accepted in all cases and jurisdictions.



** In [[Literature/AStormOfSwords the third book in the series]], Tyrion is urged to falsely confess to [[spoiler: Joffrey's]] murder, on the grounds that he will be sent to the Wall and allowed to live out his days as a member of the Night's Watch rather than executed. Despite the evidence stacked firmly against him, he refuses to confess, since it would brand him as guilty of not only regicide, but kinslaying, which is seen as one of the most detestable crimes in the medieval society in which he lives--and more to the point, is seen as particularly detestable by him (having sacrificed so much and suffered so much abuse in the name of his family). The fact that nobody believes in his innocence, in addition to his horrible treatment throughout the series, is what causes him to eventually [[spoiler: kill his father, ironically making him a kinslayer in truth]].
* In his [[Literature/ApologyOfSocrates Apology]] Creator/{{Socrates}} refuses to plead guilty, even under the risk of losing his life.

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** In [[Literature/AStormOfSwords the third book in the series]], Tyrion is urged to falsely confess to [[spoiler: Joffrey's]] [[spoiler:Joffrey's]] murder, on the grounds that he will be sent to the Wall and allowed to live out his days as a member of the Night's Watch rather than executed. Despite the evidence stacked firmly against him, he refuses to confess, since it would brand him as guilty of not only regicide, but kinslaying, which is seen as one of the most detestable crimes in the medieval society in which he lives--and lives -- and more to the point, is seen as particularly detestable by him (having sacrificed so much and suffered so much abuse in the name of his family). The fact that nobody believes in his innocence, in addition to his horrible treatment throughout the series, is what causes him to eventually [[spoiler: kill [[spoiler:kill his father, ironically making him a kinslayer in truth]].
* In his [[Literature/ApologyOfSocrates Apology]] Apology]], Creator/{{Socrates}} refuses to plead guilty, even under the risk of losing his life.



** In one case a Mafia boss takes an ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea Alford]]'' plea when he's accused of putting out a successful hit on an Assistant District Attorney - specifically saying he didn't order the hit, but that the DA has enough to convict him at trial. Afterwards, the mobster tells [=McCoy=] that he should have known the truth because the rules he's followed in the family have always been "No cops, no DA's."
* Happens all the time in ''Series/ThePractice.'' In one episode, the defendant reluctantly agrees to plead guilty (while still privately denying guilt), ''after'' the jury is done deliberating. The plea is accepted, and then Bobby discovers that [[spoiler: the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty]].
* In an episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'', a young wannabe gangsta cops to shooting someone but refuses to plead to any charge. He was convinced since he shot the wrong person, [[TooDumbToLive the charges didn't]] [[YouFailLawForever apply to him.]]

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** In one case case, a Mafia boss takes an ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea Alford]]'' plea when he's accused of putting out a successful hit on an Assistant District Attorney - -- specifically saying he didn't order the hit, but that the DA has enough to convict him at trial. Afterwards, the mobster tells [=McCoy=] that he should have known the truth because the rules he's followed in the family have always been "No cops, no DA's."
* Happens all the time in ''Series/ThePractice.'' In one episode, the defendant reluctantly agrees to plead guilty (while still privately denying guilt), ''after'' the jury is done deliberating. The plea is accepted, and then Bobby discovers that [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty]].
* In an episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'', a young wannabe gangsta cops to shooting someone but refuses to plead to any charge. He was convinced since [[MurderByMistake he shot the wrong person, person]], [[TooDumbToLive the charges didn't]] [[YouFailLawForever apply to him.]]



** In case 2 of ''Justice For All'', Phoenix is insistent on getting Maya a complete acquittal. This appears to be a rather suicidal move, as doing so forfeits her the ability to plead justifiable homicide, which the DA has all but proven. Phoenix explains that if he allowed Maya to plead justifiable self defense, that would still be admitting she did it, which would ruin her reputation and career. Phoenix believes Maya didn't do it, and based on what Mia told him about spirit channeling, he has proof. (It would never hold up in court, but it was enough to convince Phoenix that Maya absolutely could not have killed Grey.)
** Pretty much all of ''Phoenix Wright'' in general. If a client is pleading innocent, then you'd better believe they're innocent. If they're pleading guilty, then they're either covering for someone or believe they did it, even when in truth they didn't. Never does Phoenix have a client who's actually guilty, [[GenreSavvy and he seems totally aware of that]], refusing to allow them to plead guilty no matter what.
** Subverted in the fourth case of Justice for All: [[spoiler: When asked if he killed the victim, the defendant "truthfully" tells Phoenix that he didn't. He just hired someone ''else'' to do it, which makes him as guilty as if he'd done it himself. If you get the good ending, Phoenix's client switches to a guilty plea, since walking free would mean living in fear of his hitman killing him in revenge one day.]]
** Case five of the first game is also an exception: the defendant insists that she did it, but Phoenix is convinced otherwise. He is, of course, correct.

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** In case 2 of ''Justice For All'', Phoenix is insistent on getting Maya a complete acquittal. This appears to be a rather suicidal move, as doing so forfeits her the ability to plead justifiable homicide, which the DA has all but proven. Phoenix explains that if he allowed Maya to plead justifiable self defense, self-defense, that would still be admitting she did it, which would ruin her reputation and career. Phoenix believes Maya didn't do it, and based on what Mia told him about spirit channeling, he has proof. (It would never hold up in court, but it was enough to convince Phoenix that Maya absolutely could not have killed Grey.)
** Pretty much all of ''Phoenix Wright'' in general. If a client is pleading innocent, then you'd better believe they're innocent. If they're pleading guilty, then they're either [[TakingTheHeat covering for someone someone]] or believe they did it, even when in truth they didn't. Never does Phoenix have a client who's actually guilty, [[GenreSavvy and he seems totally aware of that]], refusing to allow them to plead guilty no matter what.
** Subverted in the fourth case of Justice for All: [[spoiler: When [[spoiler:When asked if he killed the victim, the defendant "truthfully" tells Phoenix that he didn't. He just hired someone ''else'' to do it, which makes him as guilty as if he'd done it himself. If you get the good ending, Phoenix's client switches to a guilty plea, since walking free would mean living in fear of his hitman killing him in revenge one day.]]
** Case five of the first game is also an exception: the defendant insists that she did it, but Phoenix is convinced otherwise. He is, of course, correct.



* Reversed in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. John Stewart is taken to trial where he is accused of destroying a planet. His friends all believe he's innocent of course, but he pleads guilty without a second thought. [[spoiler:Turns out, of course, that he was framed, and had been successfully fooled by the plot as well. The crux of the realization was that the [[YouFailPhysicsForever moon of the planet was still orbiting the debris, instead of having flown off into space due to lack of gravitational pull]].]]

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* Reversed in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. John Stewart is taken to trial where he is accused of destroying a planet. His friends all believe he's innocent innocent, of course, but he pleads guilty without a second thought. [[spoiler:Turns out, of course, that [[FrameUp he was framed, framed]], and had been successfully fooled by the plot as well. The crux of the realization was that the [[YouFailPhysicsForever moon of the planet was still orbiting the debris, instead of having flown off into space due to lack of gravitational pull]].]]



*** One man accused of witchcraft, Giles Corey, famously refused to plead either way. In those days the law said that a person could not be tried without entering a plea first. Those who refused were "motivated" to by being pressed between two flat stones, with heavier stones placed on top. When given the choice to plead guilty (he'd live, but be deprived of all his property, thus leaving his family in poverty) or not guilty (he would be tried, inevitably convicted, put to death and lose his property anyway), he reportedly yelled, "More Weight!" It was the only way to leave his family with anything. Merely being accused of witchcraft had sealed his fate one way or the other. It was also of course a way of going out while {{defiant to the end}}.
** Interestingly enough, the exact opposite was true for Swedish witch trials, at least during the first waves. Only people who confessed were executed, since they were afraid that a guilty person who hadn't confessed and gotten absolution before death would haunt the living. However most people accused didn't know this, which was used against them in the hopes that they would believe that confessing would save them from execution. The first woman sentenced to death for witch craft in Sweden was known as Stor-Märet, and she was brought to the execution site, blindfolded and had her head positioned for beheading. Stor-Märet insisted that she was not guilty and was not executed. However her luck didn't last too long, as she was tried again later on during a stage of the witch trials where refusing to admit guilt didn't save you, and that time around she was beheaded.

to:

*** One man accused of witchcraft, Giles Corey, famously refused to plead either way. In those days days, the law said that a person could not be tried without entering a plea first. Those who refused were "motivated" to by being pressed between two flat stones, with heavier stones placed on top. When given the choice to plead guilty (he'd live, but be deprived of all his property, thus leaving his family in poverty) or not guilty (he would be tried, inevitably convicted, put to death death, and lose his property anyway), he reportedly yelled, "More Weight!" It was the only way to leave his family with anything. Merely being accused of witchcraft had sealed his fate one way or the other. It was also also, of course course, a way of going out while {{defiant to the end}}.
** Interestingly enough, the exact opposite was true for Swedish witch trials, at least during the first waves. Only people who confessed were executed, since they were afraid that a guilty person who hadn't confessed and gotten absolution before death would haunt the living. However However, most people accused didn't know this, which was used against them in the hopes that they would believe that confessing would save them from execution. The first woman sentenced to death for witch craft witchcraft in Sweden was known as Stor-Märet, and she was brought to the execution site, blindfolded blindfolded, and had her head positioned for beheading. Stor-Märet insisted that she was not guilty and was not executed. However However, her luck didn't last too long, as she was tried again later on during a stage of the witch trials where refusing to admit guilt didn't save you, and that time around she was beheaded.



** Most recently, the so-called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three#Plea_deal_and_release_.282011.29 "West Memphis 3"]] were permitted to enter an ''Alford'' plea to charges that they murdered 3 boys in 1993. Two of the three defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the third was given a death sentence. All had maintained their innocence (and evidence and later events revealed massive amounts of misconduct by police, prosecutors and jurors), but agreed to the plea so they could just be released, as the state promised to drag it out otherwise.
* To take it further, people refusing to cooperate with a trial occasionally also refuse to invoke the Fifth Amendment on the principle that, since the relevant clause protects against self-incrimination, this would amount to an admission that whatever they'd be saying ''would'' be incriminating. In this case the point isn't just "I didn't commit the crime you're accusing me of," but "The thing you're accusing me of isn't even a crime." The House Un-American Activities Committee [[RedScare investigations into communism]] in TheFifties featured some famous incidents of this-and a lot of subsequent indictments for contempt of Congress, since, because they were ''not'' accused of any crimes, legally they couldn't plead the Fifth.

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** Most recently, the so-called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three#Plea_deal_and_release_.282011.29 "West Memphis 3"]] were permitted to enter an ''Alford'' plea to charges that they murdered 3 boys in 1993. Two of the three defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the third was given a death sentence. All had maintained their innocence (and evidence and later events revealed massive amounts of misconduct by police, prosecutors prosecutors, and jurors), but agreed to the plea so they could just be released, as the state promised to drag it out otherwise.
* To take it further, people refusing to cooperate with a trial occasionally also refuse to invoke the Fifth Amendment on the principle that, since the relevant clause protects against self-incrimination, this would amount to an admission that whatever they'd be saying ''would'' be incriminating. In this case case, the point isn't just "I didn't commit the crime you're accusing me of," but "The thing you're accusing me of isn't even a crime." The House Un-American Activities Committee [[RedScare investigations into communism]] in TheFifties featured some famous incidents of this-and this -- and a lot of subsequent indictments for contempt of Congress, since, because they were ''not'' accused of any crimes, legally they couldn't plead the Fifth.
4th Oct '16 9:52:40 PM Fireblood
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* To get parole, a prisoner usually must confess their crime. For an innocent person, this can be unacceptable. So this puts them in what people call the "innocent prisoner's dilemma": admit guilt and get parole, but at the cost of losing any chance of being exonerated, since this would be used against them in any attempt to get their conviction overturned. Since it has been believed that prisoners who deny guilt are more dangerous as they haven't faced what they did, this requirement came to be standard. However, actual psychological studies show just the opposite: prisoners who freely admit guilt are far more likely to reoffend, since they're comfortable with their illegal acts. Those who deny it are either innocent or not happy with what they did, and thus ''less'' dangerous.
28th Sep '16 8:50:59 PM Tdarcos
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** In one case a Mafia boss takes an ''Alford'' plea when he's accused of putting out a successful hit on an Assistant District Attorney - specifically saying he didn't order the hit, but that the DA has enough to convict him at trial. Afterwards, the mobster tells [=McCoy=] that he should have known the truth because the rules he's followed in the family have always been "No cops, no DA's."

to:

** In one case a Mafia boss takes an ''Alford'' ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea Alford]]'' plea when he's accused of putting out a successful hit on an Assistant District Attorney - specifically saying he didn't order the hit, but that the DA has enough to convict him at trial. Afterwards, the mobster tells [=McCoy=] that he should have known the truth because the rules he's followed in the family have always been "No cops, no DA's."
11th Jun '16 10:07:25 PM Morgenthaler
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** Interestingly enough, the exact opposite was true for Swedish witch trials, at least during the first waves. Only people who confessed were executed, since they were afraid that a guilty person who hadn't confessed and gotten absolution before death would haunt the living. However most people accused didn't know this, which was used against them in the hopes that they would believe that confessing would save them from execution. The first woman sentenced to death for witch craft in Sweden was known as Stor-Märet, and she was brought to the execution site, blindfolded and had her head positioned for beheading. Stor-Märet insisted that she was not guilty and was not executed. However her luck didn't last too long, as she was tried again later on during a stage of the witch trials where refusing to admit guilt didn't save you, and that time around she was beheaded.

to:

** Interestingly enough, the exact opposite was true for Swedish witch trials, at least during the first waves. Only people who confessed were executed, since they were afraid that a guilty person who hadn't confessed and gotten absolution before death would haunt the living. However most people accused didn't know this, which was used against them in the hopes that they would believe that confessing would save them from execution. The first woman sentenced to death for witch craft in Sweden was known as Stor-Märet, and she was brought to the execution site, blindfolded and had her head positioned for beheading. Stor-Märet insisted that she was not guilty and was not executed. However her luck didn't last too long, as she was tried again later on during a stage of the witch trials where refusing to admit guilt didn't save you, and that time around she was beheaded.


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12th Mar '16 9:32:43 AM Beedle
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* A variation in ''Series/{{Porridge}}'': Long-time convict Blanco is granted parole but bitterly refuses to accept it, insisting that he was wrongly convicted all along and wants a pardon instead.
26th Feb '16 2:08:44 AM Morgenthaler
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* Used almost word for word by one of the accused Marines in ''Film/AFewGoodMen''.
** Although this is an atypical example: The two Marines ''did'' do the actions they're on trial for, but Corporal Dawson refuses to plead guilty since he believes they were following the legitimate orders of their commander.

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* Used almost word for word by one of the accused Marines in ''Film/AFewGoodMen''.
**
''Film/AFewGoodMen''. Although this is an atypical example: The two Marines ''did'' do the actions they're on trial for, but Corporal Dawson refuses to plead guilty since he believes they were following the legitimate orders of their commander.
26th Feb '16 2:08:27 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the third book in the ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' series, Tyrion is urged to falsely confess to [[spoiler: Joffrey's]] murder, on the grounds that he will be sent to the Wall and allowed to live out his days as a member of the Night's Watch rather than executed. Despite the evidence stacked firmly against him, he refuses to confess, since it would brand him as guilty of not only regicide, but kinslaying, which is seen as one of the most detestable crimes in the medieval society in which he lives--and more to the point, is seen as particularly detestable by him (having sacrificed so much and suffered so much abuse in the name of his family). The fact that nobody believes in his innocence, in addition to his horrible treatment throughout the series, is what causes him to eventually [[spoiler: kill his father, ironically making him a kinslayer in truth]].
** Averted in the first book by Ned Stark, one of the few characters in the series from whom you might expect this kind of HonorBeforeReason act, who falsely confesses to treason to keep his children safe.

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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Averted in [[Literature/AGameOfThrones the first book]] by Ned Stark, one of the few characters in the series from whom you might expect this kind of HonorBeforeReason act, who falsely confesses to treason to keep his children safe.
**
In [[Literature/AStormOfSwords the third book in the ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' series, series]], Tyrion is urged to falsely confess to [[spoiler: Joffrey's]] murder, on the grounds that he will be sent to the Wall and allowed to live out his days as a member of the Night's Watch rather than executed. Despite the evidence stacked firmly against him, he refuses to confess, since it would brand him as guilty of not only regicide, but kinslaying, which is seen as one of the most detestable crimes in the medieval society in which he lives--and more to the point, is seen as particularly detestable by him (having sacrificed so much and suffered so much abuse in the name of his family). The fact that nobody believes in his innocence, in addition to his horrible treatment throughout the series, is what causes him to eventually [[spoiler: kill his father, ironically making him a kinslayer in truth]].
** Averted in the first book by Ned Stark, one of the few characters in the series from whom you might expect this kind of HonorBeforeReason act, who falsely confesses to treason to keep his children safe.
truth]].



* At least one episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' featured a defendant who reluctantly pled guilty to a murder that he is later exonerated of. The twist was that his lawyer was crooked and strong-armed him into taking the plea deal for a bribe from the actual guilty party. As a rule, though, most defendants on the show will plea out once enough evidence piles up against them, but usually not until they've gone to trial.

to:

* ''Series/LawAndOrder'':
**
At least one episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' featured a defendant who reluctantly pled guilty to a murder that he is later exonerated of. The twist was that his lawyer was crooked and strong-armed him into taking the plea deal for a bribe from the actual guilty party. As a rule, though, most defendants on the show will plea out once enough evidence piles up against them, but usually not until they've gone to trial.



* Happens all the time in ''Series/ThePractice.''
** In one episode, the defendant reluctantly agrees to plead guilty (while still privately denying guilt), ''after'' the jury is done deliberating. The plea is accepted, and then Bobby discovers that [[spoiler: the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty]].

to:

* Happens all the time in ''Series/ThePractice.''
**
'' In one episode, the defendant reluctantly agrees to plead guilty (while still privately denying guilt), ''after'' the jury is done deliberating. The plea is accepted, and then Bobby discovers that [[spoiler: the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty]].
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