I am heading down to sentencing this morning for a defendant who committed a robbery and a separate home invasion. We have wrestled with what an appropriate sentence should be for months as the case dragged on. This is a summary of the facts and I thought it would be a good exercise to see the real decisions prosecutors must make on a daily basis.
On day 1, the female defendant (call her Sara) and her boyfriend (call him Sam) went to an antique store, where Sam robbed a man at gunpoint and pistol whipped him, while Sara orchestrated the getaway.
On day 2, Sara went to her 81 year old aunt's house, saying she wanted to help with her errands. While Sara and her aunt were out, Sara called Sam and told him to steal things while they were out. Sam couldn't get in and waited for aunt and Sara to get home. Sara left the door unlocked when she went in with the aunt and Sam burst in at gunpoint. Sam and Sara duct taped the aunt, and Sam beat her with the gun, choked her, and stomped her into unconsciousness, leaving her for dead. Sam and Sara stole everything valuable from aunt's home and then stole her car.
The aunt survived and identified Sara, but could not identify Sam. Sara confesses and agrees to cooperate against Sam. She leads us to evidence of the crimes to tie Sam to them and testifies against him at trial. Sara has Sam's baby while the case proceeds and actually marries Sam while he is in jail awaiting his trial.
Sam is convicted of robbery and burglary and is setenced as a persistnet violent offender (3 violent felonies in 10 years) to 25 to life in jail.
The aunt wants Sara to have a similar sentence, but the plea deal only allows the judge to sentence Sara anywhere from probation up to 14 years in state prison.
Be the judge and leave a comment or send me an email. What should Sara's sentence be taking into account the horrible crimes, but also that we could not have convicted her boyfriend/husband without her?