EthicsRumor has it that a politician from the South Carolina House of Representatives, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, will plead guilty in a criminal ethics case being lodged against him. Allegedly, he might confess to misusing campaign funds and other misconduct during his tenure in office.

The Republican, who has been on suspension as a result of the criminal ethics charges, was accused of nine criminal counts. Among them were charges of falsifying the logbook on his private plane to seek payment for travel that never happened. His next court hearing was scheduled to take place on Thursday morning in Columbia, South Carolina.

Guilty Plea Rumor Has Not Been Confirmed

According to one media source, the information about the planned guilty plea comes from an anonymous source. Still, it is unknown if the House Speaker will plead guilty to all or just some of the allegations. Also, Reuters has not been able to confirm that a guilty plea will actually take place.

As the House Speaker, Bobby Harrell actually suspended himself after being indicted in September. The politician also said that the case and allegations were part of a political vendetta held against him by South Carolina's Attorney General. Harrell has served as South Carolina's Speaker of the House since 2005.

When Is It Advantageous to Plead Guilty to a Crime?

Typically an individual will not plead guilty in a criminal case unless the evidence brought forward by the prosecution proves overwhelmingly against him or her. No individual will be deemed guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction until -- and only if -- he or she is proved to be so beyond a reasonable doubt. Proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt is often harder for the prosecution to achieve than it might readily appear. Therefore, if a strong potential for doubt exists given the evidence, the individual may wish to fight the charges. Otherwise, a plea bargain deal -- in which the accused pleads guilty to specific charges in exchange for a slackening of punishments -- could be more advantageous to the accused.

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