Tag Archives: sentence

Tracie Hunter may finally have to Serve her Jail Sentence

Former Judge Tracie Hunter

Former Hamilton County judge Tracie Hunter was convicted in September of 2014 for having an unlawful interest in a public contract, for using her office to get documents to help her brother. In December of that year, she was sentenced to 6 months in jail, but she has remained free while her appeals and post-conviction cases have been going on. Her direct appeals were denied, upholding the conviction, and her last resort, a federal petition for habeas corpus has been denied, and the stay pending its appeal has now been lifted. She has a hearing July 18 before the Hamilton County Common Pleas court, where she could be ordered to begin serving her sentence. Her attorneys have filed a new motion to waive the jail, saying medical conditions involving her back and her arthritis prevent her from being able to serve a jail sentence, but that is a hail mary attempt to try to get the judge to allow her to remain at liberty… the same judge who ordered that she serve her sentence back in 2016, before the Federal stay went into effect. The chances she can avoid jail much longer are narrowing rapidly.

Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3-to-10 Years in Prison

bill cosby sentenced

Cosby sentencing hearing

Bill Cosby, who was convicted of three counts of indecent sexual assault during a second trial earlier this year, has been sentenced to up to 10 years in a Pennsylvania prison. The three counts were merged for sentencing under Pennsylvania law, and the judge sentenced him in accordance with the guidelines, which called for at least 22-36 months. The judge denied the defense request for house arrest, and denied Cosby a bond. Cosby was led from the courtroom in handcuffs and processed into custody.

bill cosby

Bill Cosby

Cosby, known as America’s dad for his reign as the patriarch of the fictional Cosby he portrayed on a top-rated sitcom in the 1980’s, will surely appeal. There are a couple of substantial issues to be hashed out on  appeal. First is the trial judge’s decision to allow the statements Cosby made in the civil case to be presented in the criminal trial. Cosby claimed he had only agreed to testify in the civil case pursuant to an agreement that the state would not prosecute, essentially that he was immune from prosecution. Cosby’s wife has recently indicated she wants to address a possible dispute the judge had with the former prosecutor that allegedly made the immunity agreement with Cosby. Also, among other things, Cosby will challenge the court’s decision to allow five other alleged victims to testify in this case. During his first trial, only one other accuser testified, and the trial ended with a mistrial due to a hung jury. While the decision to allow similar fact evidence before the jury is generally left to the discretion of the trial judge, his change of heart to allow four more accusers will certainly be scrutinized. It appears Cosby will have to remain behind bars unless he scores on his appeal.

Cold Case Killer gets Life

Kultar Goraya

Kultar Goraya

Kultar Goraya thought he had committed the perfect crime… now he has the rest of his life behind bars to think about it. Goraya was supsected of killing his wife in 2007, and dodged the law for over seven years. After his wife’s disappearance, he skipped to India with their child, where he thought he had pulled it off: even bragging to people that he wouldn’t be caught.

The Sheriff’s Office, with the help and resources of the TV show “Cold Justice”, they were able to arrest Goraya and bring him to justice. He was convicted late last year, and now will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will presumably appeal the case, but since he represented himself, he won’t be able to claim ineffective assistance of counsel…

Trey Radel pens CNN Op-Ed Regarding Harsh Minimum Mandatory Sentences

Trey Radel

Former SWFL Congressman Trey Radel, who has been keeping a low profile since stepping down form his elected position after a drug arrest, has recently stepped back into the spotlight for the specific purpose of addressing the harsh sentences for nonviolent drug charges, and especially minimum mandatory sentences. In his CNN article, Radel makes several points that we have expressed on Crimcourts before: that such sentences don’t treat the problem of drugs, and are wildly expensive burdens on tax payers. He makes some good points: it’s worth checking out.

Here’s some of our past articles on Minimum Mandatory sentences.

Criticism of Minimum Mandatory Sentences Continues to Grow

I have discussed some of the issues with minimum mandatory sentences here on Crimcourts a few times; from inequities in sentencing, to the ridiculousness of a man facing a mandatory 15-year sentence for having sex on the beach (though the prosecutor on that case agreed, and declined to proceed on the PRR designation that would have mandated the mandatory minimum). The issue has gained some national traction in political discussions, mostly as it relates to our overcrowded prison populations, including critics from both the right and left.

You run the risk of injustice when you try to apply blanket results without regard to the specifics of each case. Harsh sentences are appropriate for serious offenders, but a balance needs to be struck. Non-violent drug offenders probably don’t need decades in prison, and even young people that commit violent offenses are unlikely to be a risk to society when they become senior citizens. Reform still faces as uphill battle, as it is still politically advantageous to be tough on crime, and the prison industry is lucrative and has a powerful lobbying interest, but I am hopeful common sense will ultimately bring reason to our criminal punishment structures.

John Oliver took a look on This Week Tonight, and raises some quality, and some funny, points:

Boston Bomber Gets Death

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Mug Shot

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Mug Shot

The jury did not need the weekend to decide to sentence Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty. His appeals will be mandatory, but a long shot. He now faces death by lethal injection, though imposition o f sentence will take many years.

Prosecutors Won’t Seek 15-Year PRR Max Sentence for Sex on the Beach

Ed Brodsky, the elected State Attorney for the circuit including Manatee County and Bradenton, announced yesterday that he will not be seeking the full 15-year prison sentence that was expected for Jose Caballero. Caballero was one half of a

Jose 'Benny' Caballero

Jose ‘Benny’ Caballero

couple that were convicted this week for having sex on the beach in Bradenton. Because he was released from prison within 3 years of the offense, he was facing Prison Releasee Reoffender sentence, which would have mandated the maximum 15 years, to be serve day for day (no time off for good behavior).

Apparently, Brodsky has relented, after the case brought the attention of Families Against Minimum Mandatory sentences (FAMM). As we pointed out on Crimcourts: it costs about $18,000 per year to incarcerate someone… an his full sentence could have cost taxpayers $270,000. He’s still going to be looking at some time, but thanks to some magnanimity from the prosecutor, not a full 15. The judge would not have had discretion, had the state proceeded with the PRR sentence.