Recently in Sentencing Category
Unfortunately, the preliminary figures have no breakdown by state, so we cannot tell if the Realignment-driven crime increases are continuing in California. Given the state's large weight in the Western region, though, that would be consistent with the West's relatively poor results. The West's drop in violent crime is only 3.7% compared with 5.4% for the country as a whole. As noted above, the West's property crime rate is essentially unchanged, compared to another 5.4% drop for the country.
Perhaps most telling is motor vehicle theft. As explained in this post, this is the category most likely to be affected by Realignment, and it did indeed shoot up in California between 2011 and 2012. In today's report, motor vehicle theft is up 3% in the West as a whole, the only net increase in the entire table.
[T]he average age of the Republicans who voted for [the SSA] --Sens. Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Mike Lee -- was 45. The average age of the Republicans who voted no -- Sens. John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and Jeff Sessions -- was 69. The elder Republicans didn't want to patronize the new class and didn't doubt that, in Sessions's words, "there are some areas where we could reduce the length of incarceration without adversely impacting crime rates." But they remembered the bad old days, and the young guys didn't....
In State v. Castaneda, No. S-11-023, the court looks at Nebraska sentencing and parole law and decides that a life sentence for a juvenile under the law as it existed until recently was a mandatory life sentence within the meaning of Miller. There is no dissent, and the conclusion appears to be correct.
In State v. Mantich, No. S-11-301, the court reaffirms that Nebraska follows Teague v. Lane for retroactivity on collateral review and then says it is a difficult question whether Miller is substantive (and therefore retroactive) or procedural (and therefore not retroactive). It's obviously procedural in my book, but having declared the question difficult, the Nebraska Supreme Court proceeds to answer it the wrong way. Justice Cassel dissents, joined by Chief Justice Heavican. "The U.S. Supreme Court has never indicated that anything less than a full categorical ban on a sentence may be a new substantive rule, and in my view, we should decline to do so in the first instance." Right.
In State v. Ramirez, No. S-11-486, the court decides that on remand the new Miller legislation will apply, giving discretion to impose a sentence between 40 and life. In Castaneda, above, the court explained that under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 83-1,110 parole eligibility begins at half the minimum term.
Ramirez and Castaneda are not likely to go up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although there are federal questions, they are intertwined with state law. Mantich involves a deep split among state supreme courts and is prime certiorari material.
Tomorrow will be an important day for our family and the hundreds of other victims who will be affected. The California Supreme Court will hear oral argument tomorrow to review an appeals court ruling that overturned the life-without-parole sentence of a defendant who was under 18, by four days, when he committed an armed robbery of a bank and grocery store that culminated in the ambush and murder of my son, Police Officer Larry Lasater during a foot pursuit.
The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has joined the case on behalf of our family, seeking a decision to overturn the lower court ruling and reinstate the defendant's sentence. "The 16- and 17-year-old murderers eligible for a life without parole sentence are not children," said Foundation Legal Director Kent Scheidegger. "In many cases, they are violent, remorseless killers who, if over 18, would be eligible for a death sentence. Andrew Moffett has earned his sentence, and the Supreme Court should assure that it is carried out," he added.
Thanks so much to CJLF for the wonderful work they do on behalf of victims and public safety. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Although we will stand strong if we have to go through a third sentencing hearing, each time we are in a courtroom facing that remorseless killer, we suffer and I pray the Supreme Court reinstates the sentence.
A Wisconsin father convicted of abuse for starving his teenage daughter down to 68 pounds was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.
Before being sentenced by Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese, the 42-year-old man read a statement insisting his daughter suffered from severe emotional and behavioral problems that he couldn't handle, that his job as a trucker kept him away from home and that he didn't notice how thin she had become.
Hard to disagree with that. Kids who get starved can indeed develop "emotional and behavioral problems." And how could a man be expected to notice that a 68 pound teenager was thin? Gads, our society is sooo judgmental.
But it was this part that caught my eye:
The man's attorney, Jessa Nicholson, countered he deserved probation. He already has lost his family and his job, his wife is in prison and his reputation has been destroyed, she said.
"Apparently we are still a society that favors punishment," she told reporters after the hearing.
It's all true. When a father starves his daughter nearly to death, "we are still a society that favors punishment."
Honestly, is there something these people won't say?