Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 22:01.
Today, on an errand, as I often do, I popped into a Courthouse, Federal this time – and found myself in a very serious courtroom right in the middle of a sentencing hearing - for corruption.
We know about corruption here in NEO.
First the defendant’s attorney made the best case he could for house arrest.   The attorney sounded serious and not unreasonable.   Then the defendant said a few words of contrition – very softly – he may have been reading from notes.
The court room was packed with what I assumed were relatives of the defendant.  Grandkids (crying), wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. Lot’s of support here.
Then the Federal Prosecutor went over the sentencing guidelines – explaining that the Government had taken into account the age of the defendant (up there), taken into account that this particular defendant didn’t need a deterrent to keep him from more corruption ( laundering bribe money) but that this defendant needed a sentence severe enough so that the sentence acted as a deterrent for other potential violators.
Then it was the judge’s turn to weigh in.  
I never realized how serious a job being a (serious) judge can be.  
The judge explained that he was bound to find a balance between justice and mercy and that this was the part of the job that was most difficult.  Most complex. And always found to be wrong by each side of the public.
I had to cup my hand next to my ear to hear the judge. Big courtroom. Thick carpets.  Softly spoken Judge.
The judge explained that every letter of support for the defendant had been read by the court.  The judge told the many supporters that the usual sentencing scenario was one where the defendant had NO ONE in the audience for support.  (Wow – can you image having NO ONE to support you – even when you screwed up!?)
This was very serious stuff.   I felt the air getting a little thin.  (more softly crying relatives)
The judge acknowledged the citizens in the court and the importance of their support. ( I thought this was the Judge’s high point – very difficult to honestly compliment the very persons who are going to criticize you the most for the sentence on their relative which you are just about to impose – but the judge pulled it off honestly.  Very impressive).
A year and a day in Federal prison – seemed fair to me on my very brief connection to the matter.
Sobering. Changed my day, anyway.


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a year & a day - the day is so the whole year will be served

a year & a day - the day is so the whole year will be served - if he got one year he could get out in a few months or sooner - sentencing is an art


warm greetings jeff family - tell your now court story teach us

warm greetings jeff family - tell your now court story  teach us