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November 6, 2008

Another election day outcome with a sentencing twist

This local story from Nebraska, headlined "Voters give short molester's judge the boot," provides this post-election update of a sentencing story from a few years ago:

Cheyenne County District Court Judge Kristine Cecava of Sidney, Neb., who touched off a national debate by sentencing a 5-foot-1, 100-pound child molester to probation, has been voted off the bench. Cecava is the eighth judge to be removed by voters since Nebraska adopted its judicial selection plan in the early 1960s.

She sparked controversy in 2006 when she sentenced Richard Thompson to 10 years of intensive supervised probation and commented that she feared for his safety in prison because of his size....

In Nebraska, the governor appoints judges, but voters periodically consider whether they should be retained in office. Cecava was turned out Tuesday by a 52 percent to 48 percent vote....

Cecava was the lowest-rated district judge on the Nebraska State Bar Association's most recent performance evaluation. Fifty-seven percent of lawyers who responded said she should be retained.

Thompson had faced up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl. The Nebraska Court of Appeals upheld Thompson's probation, saying it was justified based on his psychological evaluation.

November 6, 2008 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

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