July 7, 2005
Rapper Compared to Martha Stewart
Yahoo News (AP) reports here that Rapper Lil' Kim received a sentence of 366 days (year and a day) for "lying to a federal grand jury about a 2001 shootout outside a Manhattan radio station." The district judge sentencing Rapper Lil' Kim was none other than Judge Gerard Lynch, a thoughtful jurist who authored a brilliant piece in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology back in 2001 on "Sentencing Eddie."
It is obvious in this case that he thoughtfully weighed important factors in reaching a decision of what would be the appropriate sentence. One of his considerations in rendering the sentence was a comparison to what Martha Stewart received for her alleged lies to the SEC. Interestingly he said that Rapper Lil' Kim "deserved more time because she had lied about a violent crime, not a white-collar scheme." (see here) He also provided a second rationale for why this case warranted more time than that given to Martha Stewart.
The government has continually stressed the need for uniformity in sentencing. What this case demonstrates is that federal judges are capable of providing that uniformity in a thoughtful way and that restrictive guidelines are not always the answer.
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