Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I sat in on this sentencing hearing this morning

The lady who stole $50 million from the DC government over 18 years got 17.5 years.

I'm normally a defense-sympathetic kinda girl, but this defense lawyer was not good. He kept interrupting the judge and didn't seem to get that if the judge had said Walters was a sophisticated criminal that arguing that she wasn't probably wasn't the best tactic and he should pick another one. (To say nothing of the fact that she had a conspiracy involving lots of people that ran for 18 years before she was caught. This isn't a waitress slipping $20 from the restaurant till every now and again, this was a pretty complex operation.)

Also, he didn't seem to get the fairly simple idea "Your client stole 50 million dollars from the government. So the government had 50 million dollars less. The government usually tries to use its money to run the city and help out people. So she probably really hurt people by her actions even though we can't know exactly who those people are." which seems fairly straightforward and obvious to me.

The whole thing was interesting becuase it was dickering over the actual sentencing, which could have been between 15 and 18 years, so the whole thing was an argument over three years.

Anyway, 17.5 it was.



Robin Edgar said...

"He kept interrupting the judge"

Heck even *I* know better than that, and I'm not even a lawyer. Usually it is the judge interrupting me. . . :-)

Chalicechick said...

Judges do that.

Robin Edgar said...

Yes I remember quite fondly how the judge presiding over the Unitarian Church Of Montreal's inept and futile attempt to have me convicted of disrupting a church service quite sternly told Montreal Unitarian U*Us who were gossiping while the trial was in session to "sit down and shut up". . . OK His stern rebuke of Montreal Unitarian U*Us was not stated *exactly* in those words any more than Rev. Will Saunders' brazen assertion that -

"The president's vision is irrelevant unless it is also the board's vision. . ."

but the effect was similar. . . I really must listen to the trial recordings again soon they are quite entertaining in parts! :-)