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Good outcomes

Some defendants get sentences reduced when prosecutors heed judges' suggestions

POSTED NOV 25, 2015 06:15 AM CST

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS


 
 
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Some judges who are unhappy with sentences they had to impose under mandatory laws have asked prosecutors to cut the punishment, with some success.  The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) cites some examples. Many of the cases involve the so-called trial penalty in which a defendant rejects a plea bargain and receives a much higher sentence after conviction.

In one case, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson of Brooklyn, New York, “lobbied prosecutors for years” to cut a sentence for Francois Holloway, the story reports. Gleeson had sentenced Holloway to 57 years in prison in 1996 for his part in carjackings in which one assailant brandished a gun. Holloway had turned down a deal for an 11-year sentence.

Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s office decided it would no longer oppose Holloway’s petition challenging his sentence. Gleeson vacated two of Holloway’s convictions and resentenced him to time served.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “such do-overs are another sign of shifting attitudes about punishment and growing bipartisan support for criminal justice policies that emphasize rehabilitation.”

This do-over save Holloway about 30 years of his life.  Good outcome. 

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