Every week, I will put forth a hypothetical scenario, where you are the Judge, either Federal or State. You will be given a list of "facts", about the case, then asked a question at the end.
Also you will be given a list of answers to choose from, or you can make up your own. You are the Judge, you have the power. Make your decision wisely.
You can also discuss other members decisions, and why or why you don't agree with them.
If you are one of those people that wants more detail, just ask and I will give you more "facts" about the case. Within reason.
This thread is not meant to be a device for learning Federal or State laws, or to be 100% accurate when dealing with what sentences can be handed out to the guilty.
This is more of a "fun with ethics" thread, to see how you as a judge, would react to different scenarios.
Also, it's hypothetical, you are not really there, you can't see the people involved, their facial expressions, etc. This isn't real. Anyone who is all uptight, "Well, I can't make a choice because this is too fake, and I would have to see the defendant, and the viticms, etc.", well, don't play. It's just a thread, no one real is being sentenced. It's ethics, and how you would react to given plot points, if they would sway you or not.
You are a state judge in a large city in the northeast. The jury has just found the defendant guilty of 4 counts of first degree murder.
The defendant was taped during the murder of 4 tourists. He was apprehended five minutes after the murders, with blood all over him.
His face is clearly visible on the tape. He admits to the crime in open court, pleading "Guilty".
The murder weapon was a gun he had owned for years. The crime seen was at a local mall.
He was high on Crank, when he did the crime. There was no motive. His lawyer argued that he is a non violent man, but the drugs turned him into a raving lunatic. And that he feels guilt and remorse for killing the four tourists.
The 4 tourists were White. From the State of Kansas, on vacation together, two married couples.
The defendant is American born, 35 years old, his parents were refugees from Cambodia. The city the trial is held in, has a large percentage of Cambodians. A large number of Cambodian Americans have been demonstrating outside the courthouse during the trial, asking for clemency. The press is involved, and there is talk of Riots if this man is "sentenced unfairly".
The jury who found him guilty was made of 5 white males, 2 white females, 3 black females, 1 black male and 1 Latino. But no one Cambodian was on the jury.
Question: How would you sentence the defendant?
You are ready to hand down the sentence. This is a death penalty state, and the sentence guidelines allow any of the following:
1. Overturn the jury ruling and let him off scott free.
2. Let him off with parole for a certain amount of time.
3. Send him to prison for One to Five years, eligible for parole halfway through.
4. Send him to prison for Five to Ten years, eligible for parole halfway through.
5. Send him to prison for Ten to 20 years, eligible for parole halfway through.
6. Send him to prison for 30 to 50 years, eligible for parole halfway through.
7. Give him life in prison, eligible for parole halfway through.
8. Give him life in prison, no parole.
9. Give him the death penalty.
10. Other, not listed here, make up your own sentence.
I don't care about if a person is on drugs or not. He MADE the decision to use those drugs, therefore, he is responsible for the crime of murder, on four innocent people.
8. Give him life in prison, no parole.
I would have said the death penatly... but, he didn't plan this murder out.
Of course, it would be a little different to know the things that were said during the trial, and if there was a reason, beyond the drugs for this crime. Was he angry with Americans... or these tourists, for something? Or, was it just a random, he was high, and killed people?
So, life in prison, for him, with no chance of parole. He will live, and die, in that cell. And he will work his ass off, in prison, until he can't anymore.
No parole. Simply because obviously the man has issues with drugs. He isn't going to get any help in prison. If he were to get out on parole, he would most likely do the crime again or at least continue his addiction as he has been made able to in prison.
My comments are a slam on the current prison system.
Definitely not the death penalty. Murder under any influence means prison without parole.
He pled guitly in court. Why was a jury ruling necessary?
If the remorse was geniune I would maybe go for number 5 but I would also order that he went to the drug rehab unit that some jails have. Parole would only be granted if he was very well behaved, had succesfully completed drug rehab, continued to go to drug rehab for a certain amount of time upon release, I would tag him and set a curfew, he would be banned from owning a firearm of any sort. I think I would also order some kind of physciatric testing before he was even eligible for parole.