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Jaycee Dugard's Kidnapper Pleads Not Guilty

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 11, 2011 10:02 AM

As late as Tuesday, the media was reporting that Phillip Garrido, who is being charged in the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case, was expected to plead guilty.

In a surprising move yesterday, the confessed kidnapper pled not guilty to his crimes.

Despite the plea, his lawyer still expects him to spend the rest of his life in jail.

As a quick recap, Garrido and his wife Nancy are charged with kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard and holding her for 18 years. The previously convicted sex offender also fathered her two children.

Garrido's not guilty plea was reportedly influenced by his attorney's decision to challenge the racial and geographical makeup of the grand jury that indicted him, reports KABC.

Yes--even confessed kidnappers and rapists are entitled to a fairly chosen jury of their peers.

And they're also entitled to vigorous representation, an ethical duty that is behind the turn in events.

Phillip Garrido's attorney, Susan Gellman, told the media that despite her client's obvious fate, she will not "roll over and play dead," according to KABC.

Even though it may seem strange, this decision is probably beneficial in ending the Jaycee Dugard case.

If Susan Gellman were to stop actively representing Garrido, he could appeal his sentence on the grounds that he was not aided by competent counsel. This appeal would take years.

And for those who think the grand jury challenge and not guilty plea are going to end with Jaycee Dugard on the stand, think again.

Phillip Garrido will likely change his plea if things don't work out.

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