“Accordingly, to limit the occurrence and impact of any such de facto de-escalation practice and to ensure strict compliance with the governing Court Rule, an assistant prosecutor or deputy attorney general shall not consent to judicial participation in plea negotiations pursuant to Rule 3:9- 3(c) without obtaining express authorization for such consent from a supervisory assistant prosecutor designated by the County Prosecutor, or a supervisory assistant or deputy attorney general designated by the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice in cases prosecuted by the Division.
In the event that a court, without consent from the prosecutor as required under Rule 3:9-3(c), advises a defendant that if the defendant pleads guilty the court will impose a lesser term of imprisonment than that contemplated by the plea offer tendered by the prosecutor pursuant to the escalating plea policy, the prosecutor shall alert his or her superiors, who shall promptly advise and consult with the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice to consider appropriate remedies. Such remedies might include, but need not be limited to: reporting non-compliance with the Court Rule to appropriate judicial authorities; issuing written ·submissions by the County Prosecutor, or the Director in cases prosecuted by the Division, confirming in particular cases that consent to judicial participation in plea bargaining is not given and that the assistant prosecutor or deputy attorney general handling the case has no authority to give such consent; or instructing an assistant prosecutor or deputy attorney general not to attend or otherwise participate in a Rule 3:9-3(c) proceeding.”
This is pure pettiness by the Attorney General. It is a thinly veiled threat to not only file complaints against judges, but to refuse to attend a given judge’s court events should that judge make an effort to reasonably resolve a case. It reads more like conscientious objection than law enforcement.
Consider the absurdity in prohibiting a judge to indicate what their maximum sentence would be in a case in which the defendant would accept the sentence. That means that weeks, if not months, will be spent litigating and trying cases where the best, albeit uncertain result that the prosecutor could hope for is a result that the defendant would have accepted if he or she were only told about the judge’s sentencing inclination.