As I noted previously, in another post with a similar title, perhaps she’s telling the truth, if not as a whole then largely and essentially; i.e., it’s possibly, perhaps not likely, but possible, that her story is akin to that of Cassandra Sorenson-Grohall. And that’s why she rejected the plea-bargains. But if she’s lying about everything, as almost everyone not only believes but knows, being omniscient apparently, why would she reject all the plea-bargains?
On a Sunday night 1-2 years ago while riding a stationary bicycle with a small television at Anytime Fitness, I watched a segment of MSNBC’s Lockup Raw, a weekly TV show that depicts life in U.S. prisons and jails. It’s so depressing -if one thinks of all the people with no histories of violence or serious criminality, people who don’t belong in jail or prison because they’re innocent or, if guilty, were convicted of crimes that don’t warrant incarceration- that I usually don’t even watch it for a few seconds and I’ve never watched even as much as 10-15 minutes during a single evening.
For some reason I watched a few minutes of a segment on the county jail in Sacramento, CA, in which a reporter interviewed a woman who was arrested and jailed as an accomplice to murder because she accompanied her lover to the house of a man he shot to death in a confrontation, possibly in self-defense, and in which she described her first hours of incarceration: She was crying, violently and uncontrollably. She was claustrophobic. She was hyperventilating. She had panic attacks. And this was a young working-class female who appeared to be in her early/middle-20’s, whose lover was an Iraq war veteran who appeared to be in his early/middle-30’s. This woman was surely tougher, psychologically, than Abigail Simon, whose experience of being arrested and jailed was almost surely even more traumatic, hellish, degrading, nightmarish.
So why did she reject all the plea-bargains if she’s lying about everything? The obvious answer is that she so dreaded the penalties to which she’d be subjected under even the least punitive of the plea-bargains she rejected -being enslaved and abused and degraded for perhaps as long as 12-18 months or at least for 5-6 months in a hellish jail with male guards and no privacy and grievous overcrowding, and the fights, verbal and physical, the violence and threats of violence, the awful food, the routine strip-searches, the almost unrelenting, often unbearable, noise, etc., and then subjected to a lifetime or at least 20-30 years of draconian/Orwellian persecution- that she decided to plead “not guilty” and go to trial with the hope, however unrealistic, and the chance, however remote, that she’d be acquitted on all counts and thus walk out of the courtroom with family and friends a free women, legally, free to live as normal a life as possible given her travail and it’s negative consequences: finding a job, interacting with other people, ostracism, hostility, hate-mail, death threats, vigilante violence, etc.
P.S. Sentencing judges are not constrained to honor the terms of a plea-bargain. If Abigail had accepted a plea-bargain in which she plead guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, the judge had the discretion to sentence her to 6-15 years in prison, the sentence imposed on Kathryn Ronk under a plea-bargain. And if she’d accepted a plea-bargain in which she plead guilty to “accosting a minor for immoral purposes,” the judge had the discretion to sentence her to 4-years in prison.