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The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition | Main | Bolton Departs Trump Administration; Trump and Bolton Spar Over Whether Bolton Offered to Resign, or Was Asked to Resign
September 10, 2019

Federal Appeals Court Reverses Illegally-Light Sentence Lower Judge Gave to Rand Paul's Attacker;
Lower Judge Had Given Him an Impermissibly Short Sentence Because He Was "Educated"

Had enough yet?

Federal prosecutors appealed this sentence as not permitted by federal sentencing guidelines. The appeals court agreed, and scolded the lower judge for illegally using the criterion that the attacker was "educated" as a reason for going outside the guidelines to give him the lightest of all taps on the wrist.

He could have gotten ten years; this judge sentenced him to merely 30 days. After all, he wasn't deplorable -- he had a "good background" and "education."

Boucher was originally charged with misdemeanor assault under Kentucky law, but the state charges were dropped in lieu of a federal felony prosecution. Boucher could have received up to 10 years in prison for an assault of a member of Congress that inflicted personal injury, but prosecutors sought 21 to 27 months in light of his acceptance of responsibility.

District Court judge Marianne O. Battani instead sentenced Boucher to only 30 days, arguing that Boucher had an "excellent background," was "an educated person," and "participated in the community in [his medical] practice and in [his] church." The Clinton-appointed judge also cited the character witnesses who testified on Boucher's behalf, including his pastor and the developer of his gated community.

Prosecutors appealed the case, arguing that the light sentence was "substantively unreasonable" compared with similar cases. The Sixth Circuit agreed Monday, noting that Congress specifically instructed courts not to give undue weight to class and education when sentencing defendants.

"To prioritize a defendant's education, professional success, and standing in the community would give an additional leg up to defendants who are already in a privileged position," wrote Obama appointee Jane Stranch for a three-judge panel.

Unfortunately, this case goes right back to the same judge. We'll see if she ups the sentence to 45 days.

I always say "The rules you make for us, you make for yourself as well."

There's a corollary to that: The laws you claim your tribe-members can ignore and have immunity from, are laws that I can also ignore, and which I also have immunity from.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:04 PM

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