STETs are Plea Agreements. State v. Thompson.


Brief Brief State v. Thompson, 48 Md. App. 219, (1981)

Issue:   STET agreements are enforceable plea agreements.


“Entering of a stet in exchange [for conditions by Defendant] is a plea bargain to be honored by the State as long as the Defendant makes a good faith effort to perform his part.” Id. at 221.

“A plea bargain, by any other name, remains a plea bargain.  It is the substance of the agreement, not the name it is given, to which we look in order to determine whether a pact was struck . . . and once the State has made a bargain, it is bound to adhere to the agreement so long as the accused performs his part, and we eschew the State’s attempt by semantics to renege on its covenant  [i.e. of “STET” versus guilty plea].” Id. at 222.

“The office of the State’s Attorney is a public trust.  The awesome power, vested by the people in the State’s Attorney, should not be employed for the purpose of applying balm to a wounded ego or to the fulfillment of a personal vendetta.”  Id at 222-223.

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