« First-cut Enron sentencing questions (and links) | Main | Enron and on and on and on »

May 25, 2006

Short people got no prison

With apologies to Randy Newman, this AP story of a state sentencing from Nebraska suggests a sex offender may soon be humming a different version of his Short People song.  Here are basics from the AP:

A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.  His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.  "You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.  But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18.  Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.  He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

Those who know me personally may understand fully why I might not be too critical of judges who give breaks to vertically challenged defendants.  And, as one of my great research assistants asked, the tough question is whether a height-based offender characteristic that results in sentence disparity a form of "warranted" or "unwarranted" disparity.

UPDATE:  Mike here at Crime & Federalism and KipEsquire here at A Stitch in Haste have thoughts on this case (which, I fear, will get a lot more attention than is probably deserves).

May 25, 2006 at 03:19 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200d83428acee53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Short people got no prison:

» Too Short for Prison?!? from A Stitch in Haste
Huh?A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead. [Read More]

Tracked on May 26, 2006 12:02:21 AM

» Probation for short criminal stirs debate from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
A judge's decision to sentence a 5-foot-1 man to probation instead of prison for sexually assaulting [Read More]

Tracked on May 26, 2006 12:32:34 PM

» Crime Reporters Should Consult Local Lawyers (If They Want the Real Story) from Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer
Theres been nationwide coverage of the judge who granted probation to a sex offender because he was too short to go to prison.Or, at least, thats how it was covered in the media.Some of the reports about the rece... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 18, 2007 10:50:14 AM

Comments

I wonder how the 12 year old felt when a man twice their size attacked. If you do the crime you need to do the time. He would get to see how intimidating someone is twice their size. We coddle the criminal way to much. That judge needs to be removed from the bench because she is a threat to society. If it was her daughter or son would she feel the same way.

Posted by: verticallychallenged | May 26, 2006 2:03:05 PM

I am short too and I have always say we are what
we are biologically.

I think the man was just favoured.

All we need is support for our voice - legal, personal, etc, etc...

See http://www.cafepress.com/Wordsnalgesic for support materials for the short people.

Posted by: Oye | Nov 11, 2006 11:51:21 AM

Oye is a Branch Manager of a Consulting Engineering company in Abuja, the capital
city of Nigeria.

I enjoy reading your blog.

Thanks.

Posted by: Oye | Nov 11, 2006 11:57:35 AM

Oye is a Branch Manager of a Consulting Engineering company in Abuja, the capital
city of Nigeria.

I enjoy reading your blog.

Thanks.

Posted by: Oye | Nov 11, 2006 12:00:41 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB