This is how it starts.
A high profile sentencing.
A perceived unfairness and hysterical commentary that a rich-white man got a break from a liberal-activist judge (never mind Judge T.S. Ellis was appointed by Ronald Wilson Reagan) and then the politicians take over.
"It's an outrage!...Judges cannot be trusted!...."
And the cry for minimum mandatory sentences will be taken up.
Nobody runs for office and wins on the platform of having reasonable sentencing laws.
Maximum sentences for any crime becomes the cry. And the public, indigent, demands action.
Until someone is arrested and convicted and they are sitting in our office.
"We don't understand Rumpole. Our (husband, father, brother, sister, mother) led an exemplary life for fifty years, Then they ran into money trouble and committed this crime. No one was hurt. The money was paid back. They are 70 years old. They have health troubles. They have lost their license. Why must the judge impose a twelve year minimum mandatory sentence?"
Rumpole: "Under the Paul Manafort sentencing reform act of 2020, a Judge must impose a minimum of twelve years prison on all people convicted of white collar fraud claims if they have no prior record, have a college degree, used a computer for their crimes, and are considered 'a person of privilege' because the sentencing act clearly states people of privilege should receive an additional punishment for abusing their privilege so as to restore the public's trust in the criminal justice system. I'm sorry, there is nothing anyone can do."
Mark our words- despite the horrific unfairness of the sentencing guidelines, things are about to get worse, not better, because of this stupid case. How many of us would give almost anything to have a Judge of courage, wisdom and integrity like Judge Ellis sitting in judgement on our client's white collar fraud sentencing?
But he, and the rest of the judiciary are about to lose their discretion in this area.
A bad moon is rising.
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