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Most Massachusetts criminal cases settled before they go to trial, statistics show

In fiscal 2012, plea agreements were by far the most common way cases were resolved in Massachusetts superior courts, according to statistics provided by the state.

Out of the 4,973 cases heard statewide, 70 percent were resolved by plea deals.

In Hampshire County, of the 106 cases resolved in 2012, 58 of them were resolved by the defendant entering a plea. Only 11 went to a jury trial.

The remaining cases were tried in jury-waived trials or were dismissed, or the charges were dropped, or the defendant was sentenced to pre-trial probation, according to information from the state.



Experts agree mistrials rare, challenging for both sides

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — Not only was the mistrial in the criminal case involving Cara Lee Rintala a disappointing outcome, it was also the least likely outcome, according to legal experts. Several local lawyers and legal scholars said mistrials are rarely declared. When they are, the decision to bring cases back for a second trip through a courtroom presents challenges for both …

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