I'm reading about sentencing for the Judicial Decision Making class with Judge Lipez. This week's assignment starts with an overview of the history of sentencing in America (100 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 691). Next is a particularly heart-rending story of Andrew and Robert here in Maine. The jury found Andrew guilty of depraved and indifferent murder. He and Robert had been partying when he ran across a fellow that he owed money to. There was talk of an old lady in Biddeford who was likely to have money in the house. Andrew and Robert went there, cut the phone lines, broke in, and in the course of the robbery, broke her spine, her larynx, and beat her to death.
Andrew was 22, and the youngest of ten children. He grew up in a chaotic household where no adult ever held a job. He grew up in a mess, and predictably, came to grief. He showed little remorse for the murder, and focused on being the victim because Robert testified against him as part of a plea agreement. Robert walked away with a 13 year sentence, and Andrew got 35. The hand wringing that the judge went through, the letters from interested parties, and the constraints imposed by statute and procedure make it painfully clear that the sentencing part of our system of justice just might be the hardest.
I'd post the entire thing here, but it's in .pdf format, and that's an impediment.
Back to work....
3 years ago