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Court reluctant on plea bargains after sentencing

Supreme Court seems reluctant to allow criminals to ask for plea deals after conviction By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Supreme Court seemed reluctant to allow criminals to ask for a plea bargain after they've been sentenced, despite claims from two that their lawyers erred by either not mentioning the plea offer or advising them incorrectly on the law.

The high court heard two appeals overturning convictions of a drunken driver and a man who shot a woman as she was running away. The drunken driver's lawyer didn't tell him about an offered plea deal, while the shooter's lawyer mistakenly told him that he couldn't be convicted of murder since he shot below the waist.

Both men got years in prison, instead of lesser time that plea agreements would have brought them. But justices questioned whether reopening negotiations after sentencing would be "unworkable" and unfair to prosecutors.

Justices will rule next year.

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