Alford plea

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Alford plea (also referred to as Alford guilty plea[1][2][3] and Alford doctrine[4][5][6]) in the law of the United States is a guilty plea in criminal court,[7][8][9] where the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence.[10][11][12] Under the Alford plea the defendant admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.[4][13][14][15][16]



The Alford guilty plea originated in the United States Supreme Court case of North Carolina v. Alford (1970).[9][11] Henry Alford was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in 1963.[17] Evidence in the case included testimony from witnesses that Alford had said after the death of the victim that he had killed the individual.[17] Court testimony showed Alford and the victim had got into an argument at the house of the deceased.[17] Alford left the house, and afterwards the victim received a fatal gunshot wound when he opened the door responding to a knock.[17]

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