Friday, August 4, 2006

Public Humiliation A Factor in Sentencing Former Bush Advisor

Professor Doug Berman, in his wonderful sentencing blog, reports here on the minimal sentence received by a former Bush advisor. His post is truly a classic - so take the time to read this one.

If in fact Claude Allen (as per AP here) "made thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent returns to Target and other stores last year"  does a sentence of "two years of supervised probation," "a $500 fine," "$850 in restitution to Target Corp. and perform 40 hours of community service" sound reasonable?  Perhaps the most interesting aspect here is that the judge in the court (the Montgomery County Circuit Court) noted he had  "suffered public humiliation."

The federal sentencing guidelines fail to account for the shame suffered by the accused.  They also do not provide sufficient recognition to first offenders.  It is nice to see that the Montgomery County Circuit Court gives justice with a sense of compassion. Maybe the feds could learn something from this judge.


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There isn’t much to learn. His sentence was about normal for just a first-offended in MD who committed that sort of crime (and of that magnitude.) The judge’s remarks didn’t indicate a substantive consideration of Maryland law.

If anything will be different about this case, as compared to other people sentenced for that crime, it is that Mr. Allen will probably have an easier time meeting conditions of probation than others. (I have often thought that poor people are at a disadvantage in probation, but this is another issue.)

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 5, 2006 5:29:35 PM

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