November 21, 2006
The Paxil Defense in Sentencing
A Tampa district court issued a sentence of home confinement and probation to a Tampa business executive despite prosecutors asking for jail time. According to the St. Petersburg Times here, the defendant who "methodically stole $1.8-million from [his] ex-employer" "blamed the antidepressant" "for his embezzling." For many white collar offenders, the naming and shaming in the newspapers can be devastating, and in some cases more traumatic then the actual sentence. The St. Petersburg Times does note the stellar work record and looks at family consequences in ascertaining the sentence. Irrespective of whether one agrees or not with the sentence issued by U.S. District Court Judge James Moody Jr., his consideration of factors beyond the guidelines is important. We must always remember that we are not just sentencing "acts" but rather are also sentencing "actors."
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