What good is it to have judges who hand down judgements only to have higher court judges over rule them? I am fully aware that in some cases you get a nut case of a judge that really does something stupid, but in this case, I do not see anything nutty about the sentence the judge handed down.
PRISONER ASKS JUDGE TO TRIM HIS SENTENCE
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA - A Temecula man who pretended to be a police officer in order to rob a man outside a bar in Bloomington has written a letter from prison asking a judge to reduce his sentence.
Jesse Adrian Wagner claims he is entitled to have his sentence of more than nine years in prison nearly cut in half based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that restricted judges' ability to hand down maximum terms.
Wagner robbed the man in 2003 shortly after he left the El Noa Noa bar.
Prosecutors said Wagner, who worked as a bail agent, dressed in a blue uniform with patches on it when he robbed the man of $200.
He also wore a bulletproof vest and drove a car outfitted with spotlights as well as a wire cage in the back seat.
The man cooperated with Wagner because he believed Wagner was a police officer.
Jurors convicted Wagner of charges including robbery, false imprisonment and impersonating an officer.
Judge Michael Libutti sentenced him to the maximum term of five years in prison for the robbery and then stacked on additional years for the remaining counts.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that judges in California could not sentence a defendant to a maximum term unless a jury first concluded that the crime involved aggravating factors.
In this case, Wagner claims that jurors did not find aggravating factors, so Libutti should have sentenced him to no more than three years for the robbery and then ordered the sentences for the remaining counts to be served concurrently rather than consecutively.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Youngberg said her office would oppose the request.
She said Wagner, who is serving his time in Tehachapi State Prison, has prior convictions that qualify as proven aggravating factors, and she believed there is little chance a judge will reduce the sentence.
Nonetheless, she said Wagner is within his rights in making the request.
Sometimes you just gotta scratch your head and say "what the hell?".
There has got to be a point in time that this absurdity ends. There is absolutely nothing wrong with stiff sentences for crimes. I would make the criminals and criminals to be think again before committing a crime.
Why shouldn't that point in time be now?