Tag: punishment

  • Someday. Maybe. If I’m Really Good

    I’ve made some punishment arguments to juries that I’m very proud of—arguments that gave me shivers, that got my clients exactly what they wanted. But I don’t believe I’ve ever read—much less made—a punishment argument anywhere near as powerful as this argument to a judge in an intoxicated-manslaughter a second-degree murder case by California criminal-defense […]

  • Another Odd Victory

    Today a Harris County jury gave my 26-year-old client six years in prison for stealing $780,000 worth of material from his employer, 3M. The prosecutor’s last plea offer was 15 years. Six years is not the longest prison sentence I’ve ever considered a win, but it’s not the shortest. We’ve filed a notice of appeal […]

  • Reconsidering General Deterrence

    PJ wrote, in response to a comment of mine to The Only Viable Threat: I will take exception to your claiming deterrence of others as a legitimate purpose of punishment. It ought to be considered unethical to harm people for the purpose of teaching other people something. For example, if a judge determines that, based […]

  • Jury No Longer Out.

    Two guilty verdicts. An acquittal would have been a victory; a mistrial would have been a victory; probation would be a victory too. These two young men don’t need to go to prison. It’s tragic that the complainant lost his life. It sucks, it’s unjust, it’s unfair, and nothing this jury does can possibly make […]

  • Objects of Punishment in Federal Court

    The U.S. Congress, in its (ahem) wisdom, has specified the purposes of punishment in federal criminal cases: (A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense; (B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct; (C) to protect the public from further crimes […]