As an assistant prosecutor, you are under orders from the stateâ€™s attorney to increase drug prosecutions to help him make his reputation as a drug warrior in his campaign for Congress. You have successfully prosecuted several big-name drug dealers and put them behind bars. You are in line for promotion based on your high-profile successes. In fact, when the total number of years for offendersâ€™ sentences is calculated, your record is tied only with that of your fiercest competitor, who is also up for promotion. One of your current cases promises to vault you ahead if you can secure a reasonable plea bargain from the defense attorney.
Here is the problem: The drug dealer you have in your sights is a crafty and politically connected criminal. He has been charged in the past with several offenses, and has always been able to avoid prosecution. This time, he was caught with a kilo of cocaine at his girlfriendâ€™s house, and you have a perfect case if only the girlfriend will testify against him. She is pregnant with his child and does not want to do this. His high-priced defense attorney has come to you with a deal. If you drop the charges against him, the drug dealer will testify that the cocaine belonged to the girlfriend. As the girlfriend has several shoplifting and bad check convictions, the stateâ€™s mandatory minimum sentence statute will kick in, and you will be able to send her to prison for a 40-year term.
You really want to nail the drug dealer instead of the girlfriend; however, she refuses to cooperate. She does not believe you when you tell her that her boyfriend has offered to roll over on her, and because the cocaine did not belong to her, she naively thinks that she will not be prosecuted. That stateâ€™s attorney just wants a big conviction, and this one would ensure your promotion. [Case source: Fuller, J. R. (2010). Criminal justice: Mainstream and crosscurrents (p. 328). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.]
Using information from the textbook, the course conferences, and 2 outside resources, what course of action would you take?
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