Thursday, February 20, 2020


We can make the case that the current "lock-em up and throw away the key" mentality originated in the late 1970's-1980's, when cities were besieged from a never ending miasma of violent crime fueled by a drug epidemic. A few notorious media cases of lenient sentences, the bestowing of nicknames like "let-em-go...[add name of judge here], stir, mix, rinse, repeat, and voila!- you have the  crime bill under President Clinton and the dismemberment of the traditional role of judges by the enactment of a slew of minimum mandatory prison sentences. 

Twenty-five plus years later you have a generation of poor, mostly black young men swallowed and forgotten  in the maw of the federal and state prison systems, and a philosophy of warehousing anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the criminal justice system. 

When did we accept the fact that it is appropriate to throw away the life of an individual because judges should "send a message" to others? As if potential criminals sit around daily reading the transcripts of sentencings and making decisions on whether or not to commit a crime based on what someone else was sentenced to. 

When did we accept that prison is easy? That losing your wealth to lawyers and fines and forfeitures, and losing your inability to support your family was an insignificant side-effect of a criminal conviction? When did the nation decide that eating slop, having your entire future in the hands of nasty and spiteful corrections officers, losing the inability to seek health care when you need it, losing the inability to make the basic decisions about when you can shower or use a bathroom was easy and that prison was no big deal and that inmates in prison are laughing at us? 

When did we decide that non-violent crimes requires incarceration beyond a year or two? 

Roger Stone was sentenced on Thursday to 40 months. Those who do not like what he stands for (mostly liberals who in the past have always been accused of being soft on crime) are outraged at how low the sentence is. 
We say go serve a day in prison and then tell us 40 months is a slap-on-the-wrist. 

It's time we bring back sanity to sentencing. There should be no prison for non-violent first offenders who do not victimize others (so do not send us Bernie Madoff as an example of a non-violent first offender- he victimized others).  Age should be a factor in sentencing. Juveniles are too young to fully appreciate their actions. People who are in the 60's or 70's represent almost a zero risk of recidivism. The ability to electronic monitor people has removed the need for incarcerating many of the people who are now sent to prison. 

Love him or hate him, the sentence for Roger Stone is stone cold wrong.  His sentence highlights all that is wrong with the federal sentencing system. 


Anonymous said...

You know he won’t serve a day, right?

Anonymous said...

Totally wrong on this one. Stone lied to congress, and the effect of his insidious falsehood on the fair administration of justice cannot be overstated. He deserves all 9 years the courageous prosecutors originally recommended, and I think its obvious Attorney General Barr should resign for suggesting 9 years was too high. The only explanation is that Barr is trying to protect his buddy Donald Trump. I also call on Obama-appointed Judge Berman Jackson to resign for the ridiculously low 40 months sentence. If Stone was a black male, she'd have given him 15 years. "Judge" Jackson was probably "gotten to" by the Russians, I heard she was in Prague with Cohen throwing back vodka shots with Russian oligarchs. Moscow Amy (Judge Jackson) has got to go NOW, or face impeachment. Also the Stone juror who lied on her jury questionnaire should be sent to jail for her lies, just as equally detrimental to our judicial system. Cant wait until the feds get a warrant for her cellphone to prove she lied and send her to prison for at least 9 years!

Anonymous said...

Amen! You are absolutely correct!

Anonymous said...

This shit simply isn't that easy. Tell me how much time you give each of these three:


Then, if your answer is not life (or the equivalent), and it probably should not be for at least two of them, tell me what you say to their next victim of whatever souless crime they comitt after being released.

Anonymous said...

This begs the next questions. Should the President pardon? Should he commute Stone's sentence? Will he? When?

Anonymous said...

Agree with Stone's 40-month sentence. Regrettably, he will likely serve little to none of it, thanks to his buddy in the White House. Agree that the criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul, and if our imbecilic president is the one who actually spearheads this, it'll be the lone bright spot in an otherwise-shameful tenure.

But I think you miss the point of why so many are outraged - it's not because Stone received a sentence that was "too low;" it's because a sitting president influenced the process and DOJ - who gives zero shits about the outrageous sentences meted out to the average defendant - actually cowed and did the unthinkable. This was selective justice, limited to a powerful, well-connected defendant who had the president's ear. That's where the bullshit lies. The blatant corruption should be unpalatable to anyone who gives a damn about our norms and so-called American values.

Anonymous said...

Repeat of my comment to DOM on this:

Your bigger point is 100% right. But you're using the wrong guy to make it with.

Stone is not just a first-time nonviolent offender in his twilight years.

He put the judge's image in cross hairs, effectively threatening the court. He intimidated a witness. And his crime is not just some local process crime. The circumstances of his crime go to the very fabric of our democracy.

40 months is not, on its face, too much. In fact, the judge probably got it just right.

Anonymous said...

Much of your argument rightly hinges on how prisons actually are in the US. Many of us know the details, but most Americans do not. Im always surprised by how many ASAs have never even visited a Dade County jail. (How on earth do you determine if 30 days or 364 days at a place are appropriate if you've never seen the place?) KFR should mandate all new hires have extensive tours of jail and felony prosecutors should probably have thorough seminars on prison life, too.

Does someone merit four or twelve years in a place where they will be sexually assaulted? Where they will have to fight for food? Where racial gang life is the norm?

Anonymous said...


You could not be more wrong. There is no common sense in your diatribe. Under what theory of punishment you learned in law school do you rely by stating that "no first time non-violent offender" should ever be sentenced to prison?

In a utilitarian sense his punishment (which I agree with another comment he will never serve) is meant to send a message to all those who would engage in meddling in our elections with a foreign government, and then participate in the cover-up of same, that this conduct will not be tolerated, and you will be punished for it.

In a retributive sense, his sentence clearly relates to his moral culpability and is his just desserts. How else would you rehabilitate Roger Stone, who is an arrogant believer in his right to do anything to win an election, even damage the Constitution.

A hypothetical conspiracy is hatched for a non-violent overthrow of the government of the United States. The conspiracy is discovered and the participants arrested. Do you still believe, upon convictions, these traitors should not be punished? Your position is almost as offensive as min/man sentences that apply no matter what the mitigators may be.

I still believe you are a judge I know but, if you are not, I hope you or anyone like you does not ever take the bench. I want people who will use common sense in sentencing. Someone like Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the fact that the friends and employees of Pres Obama like Comey, Clapper, and Brennan lied to Congress too, but that is O.K. because they are Dems and all Dems are virtuous and right like that little leaking sieve from California, Adam Schiff, who if he ever found himself telling the truth, would lie his way out of it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I hate unequal justice. McCabe, Clapper, Comey go free for lying to Congress, FBI investigators, etc., while some 31year old horney DIA schlub is facing 10 years for leaking top secret info about the Norks to his live-in CNBC girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

Guess you missed Trump’s First Step Act and his recent pardons.
Amazing that an African American CEO was given a 7 year sentence for underpaying corporate taxes by 10%. Happened under Obama/Holder.
Trump pardoned him, and BTW, his family and supporters are now pro Trump.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, certain factions complained that punishment on same facts profile was not equal between convicts. I remember statistics proving this point. African American, Hispanic, and the poor systemically received harsher sentences. Critics had cause to complain. Furthermore, there was good cause for expert lawyers to promulgate sentencing guidelines so as to provide equal justice for all.

Now, we’ve got this guideline. They are not mandatory. There can be downward departure, but, if there is a deviation from the standard sentence, then it ought to be based on something more a President’s tweet. Now tell me. Why else does Stone get a significant reduction from the sentencing guideline?

Tongues are wagging, and they should. The President’s sycophants are emboldened. And, if they cross the line, the message to the President’s stooges is: Lie. The President has your back. That sounds contrary to the goal of general deterrence in sentencing.

There is no doubt that Stone crossed the line. Moreover, Russian interference with American elections goes right to the heart of American democracy. This is a serious offense. Don’t feel sorry for Stone. Sure, considering Stone’s age, there is little risk of re-office. However, Stone knew that what he was doing was criminal when he was doing it. Then, he should have thought, if you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime.

Anonymous said...


"because a sitting president influenced the process and DOJ"


The AG made his position known (defer) before the 7-9 yr rec was even filed. The US atty made that position known to the line prosecutors. Then the line prosecutors threatened to withdraw from the case, and the US Atty caved without telling the AG. Then the 7-9 came down, and the AG informed his staff (and likely the idiotic US atty) that the "misunderstanding" would be corrected. All this before any trump tweet.

The AG felt 7-9 was unfair. So did Trump. So did Obama Judge Jackson.


Anonymous said...


I think you are confused as to basic facts.

You say punishment is "meant to send a message to all those who would engage in meddling in our elections with a foreign government, and then participate in the cover-up of same."

Stone never meddled in any election. After the Russians hacked the DNC emails and gave them to Wikileaks, Stone sought to get the emails or info about when they would be released and how damaging theyd be to HRC. If you have even a basic understanding of constitutional law, that activity is totally legal. Had there been evidence stone participated in the hack, his case is entirely diffent and perhaps we can casually allow the word "traitor" to enter the conversation.

You chastise stones "right to do anything to win an election, even damage the Constitution." He didnt damage the Constitution moron. Receiving stolen emails (or learning of their content and when theyd be released) is ***protected by the constitution.**** quite a difference.

Lets not forget the emails provided the public valuable info--HRC cheated in the DNC debates, and the DNC rigged the primary against bernie.

Along those same lines, if someone illegally hacks trumps taxes today (russia china whoever), and bernie's team tries to get them from wikileaks and publish them, then I say AMEN thank you!

Anonymous said...

5:40 is a genius and an excellent representative of the Trump nation. I can’t wait to tell my next jury that my client shouldn’t be convicted because I think some cop and a head of an agency lied to Congress about something that has nothing to do with my case. A brilliant defense for cases where no legitimate defense exists. Smart! Also, 11:43 should take a cold shower. Traditionally, tyrants love the power to release criminals and imprison their critics. Hardly the work of an orderly democracy. Seems like all this hero is doing these days is flashing his thumb up or down to cover his shit up. Let me know when banana republic time is over.

Anonymous said...

10:09 am, the "intimidated" witness said he was not intimidated by Stone. This was just a political prosecution that resulted from Stones's failure to flip as requested by Mueller.

Anonymous said...

5:00 pm. I think I know who you are referring to.

Anonymous said...

3:10 am Trump's republic will be over exactly at 11:59'59" a.m. on January 20th, 2025.

Anonymous said...


5:00 here. What about, what about, what about. Colluding with a foreign adversarial power to affect the presidential election is anti-constitutional. Lying about it is a felony and obstructing an investigation into such actions is also a felony. Sorry, there were crimes committed here. His actions were clearly designed to undermine the electoral system and the constitution, and if you don't see that, then (in the words of Obi-Wan) "you truly are lost."