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January 21, 2010

Light sentence for heavy-duty crime in Ohio

I cover a lot of heavy topics on this blog, and this recent sentencing story from Ohio seems even more hefty than most.  The piece is headlined "Overweight Woman Sentenced in Boyfriend's 'Sitting' Death," and here are the meaty specifics:

The details are shocking and hard to believe, but authorities say a woman -- who was believed to weigh around 300 lbs. at the time -- sat on her boyfriend and killed him last summer.  On Wednesday, Mia Landingham, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 120 lb. boyfriend, Mikal Middleton-Bey.

It happened back in August during an altercation between the couple, who share three children together.  During Landingham's sentencing, her boyfriend's family spoke of the pain she has caused their family.  "I just want to let you know how much you have hurt us by taking Mikal away from us," said Sharon Phillips, the victim's step-mother.

Landingham's public defender told the judge there was a long history of domestic abuse between his client and her late boyfriend.  He also pointed out she has no prior criminal record.  Landingham, then told the judge she was sorry for squashing the father of her children. "I just want to say that I am sincerely sorry about this situation... I wish I could take it back."

Judge Carolyn Friedland sentenced her to three years probation and 100 hours community service.  Landingham was then immediately released from jail.

While Middleton-Bey's family hoped Landingham would eventually be able to take part in her children's lives, they were surprised that she got no additional jail time.  "So basically you can say that I can go sit on somebody and get probation?" said one of the victim's sister.  "I feel there wasn't no justice."  Landingham faced a maximum of five years behind bars.

I know I should not make light of this situation, especially given how much the crime must weigh on all the members of the victim's family.  But it is hard to resist being light-hearted in response to this query: "So basically you can say that I can go sit on somebody and get probation?".

January 21, 2010 at 03:46 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The ability to resist taking cheap shots about other people's tragedies is the mark of a gentleman. You didn't live up to that standard here. Next time, try to resist the urge.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2010 5:24:07 PM

Agreed, federalist, but what to you think about the lenient sentence here?

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 21, 2010 5:36:31 PM

federalist -

Does calling the administration of the death penalty "the big jab" comport with your rules of decorum?

Posted by: arx | Jan 21, 2010 7:04:03 PM

Doug, I'm appalled that you think Mr. Middleton-Bey's death is funny. I don't imagine his kids would find it as uproarious as you clearly do. Shame on you.

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 21, 2010 8:28:23 PM

Well, gee, poking fun at a victim's family member and using a colloquialism to describe the lethal injection process are so similar.

I don't know what to think of the sentence. How did she come to be sitting on him?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2010 9:04:40 PM

She should be hired as backup executioner, as part of a community service sentence.

The state of her personal hygiene may constitute an element of cruelty, yes. But it's also a deterrent to all future miscreants. "If you do not lift your weights today, to make your vein pop up for your big day, you will get the Big Bertha. And she is doctoring a yeast infection in the south of town, these days."

As to seriousness, Professor, Federalist is just yanking your chain. He is pulling a reverse PC on you. If you live the Jerry Springer lifestyle, your problems are just funny. And, anyway all lawyer utterances are ridiculous, and funny per se. The ridiculousness has substance, but is compounded by the self-seriousness, and by the stentorian tones.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 21, 2010 10:08:19 PM

SC,

Your schtick has become way beyond tiresome. Can you go away for just a week...please?

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 21, 2010 10:15:50 PM

Alpino: I love the lawyer. I can't help it, your profession is so great. There is no greater love than a love great enough to correct.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 21, 2010 10:42:49 PM

SC, no matter how hard and how often you try, you're just not funny. Furthermore, you would do well not to presume to tell me what my profession is since your initial supposition is way off the mark--lawyering is not my profession.

You know, if you were actually funny, I'm sure I wouldn't find you so objectionable. The problem is you lay on the sarcasm so thick that it just isn't humorous, it's simply bone-crushingly tedious. What's more, your screeds are often incomprehensible and evince the rote-repetition quality of someone who's mentally ill. Why not disappear for a while, come back under a new name and participate on this forum like a normal human being rather than carry on ruining the comments section with your most wearisome of humor and vitriol?

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 21, 2010 11:00:37 PM

The lawyers understand. I am really addressing them. Try controlling yourself better, skip my comments. They are not addressed to a general audience.

If you are tired of my loving criticism, imagine the weariness of the public at the failure and destructiveness of this incompetent, atavistic profession in charge of government. The government sucks because the lawyer profession sucks.

As to mentally ill, glad you brought up that subject. I am not the one who believes in mind reading, future forecasting, that 12 strangers can use their gut feelings as a truth detector. Nor am I the one who believes a fictional character should set our standards of prudent behavior. He must be fictional. Why? To keep the standards objective, of course. Meanwhile, the word, reasonable means, in accordance with the New Testament, and the character is Jesus. That is pretty sick stuff. The profession relies on supernatural central doctrines.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 4:01:16 AM

"Try controlling yourself better". Ha! What a load coming from the likes of you. Talk about pots calling kettles black. You've finally said something funny, though unintentionally.

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 22, 2010 5:20:17 AM

Alpino: I appreciate how you are the only one here stupid enough to reply. Keep it coming. Instead of personal remarks, try the more challenging and useful tactic of using a fact.

How did you get interested in sentencing policy? The coolest reply would be to say, as a convicted felon in prison.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 6:47:04 AM

SC, wow, talking about getting personal, you've just called me stupid and accused me of being a convicted felon. I do wonder why Doug continues you to let you ruin this board with your paranoid ramblings and incitements to murder (you've advocated violence towards lawyers on more than one occasion).

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 22, 2010 9:12:04 AM

Like a majority of the US Supreme Court, Alpino, I am not a big fan of censoring speech in the name of the supposed public good. I am a big fan of people who use speech to provoke and encourage professional and personal reflection (and also of those who do not take everything too seriously). That's principally why I welcome virtually all commentors, while also encouraging those bothered by my poor taste or others' jabs to just move on.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 22, 2010 9:49:44 AM

Kicking out bloggers who spam your site has nothing to do with the public good or government censorship. It has to do with running a website that's informative and is a forum for reasoned debate. I mean, would you allow someone to constantly comment with curse words or utter nonsense (e.g. QWERTYUIOPè+ASDFFGHJKLòàùZXCVBNM,,.-). Well, that's what SC's gibberish amounts to. Now, if you're happy with SC's spamming up your site with his paranoiac ramblings, insults and incitement to violence, that's absolutely your right. But I also have the right to criticize your neglect of your site until you decide to kick me off of the site.

You might also think it's a load of laughs that a man's recently been killed by the mother of his children. I'd like to see you yuck it up to those kids' faces. Instead of being a mensch and apologizing for your crassness, you may lash out and want to kick critics like me off of your site. It is your right.

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 22, 2010 12:12:45 PM

On what basis do you conclude that SC's gibberish is comparable to "curse words or utter nonsense"? You and others often respond to him on the merits. I do not think you'd respond just to curse words or utter nonsense.

Meanwhile, as you've already noticed and complained, I rarely lash out and kick off anyone except folks trying to sell viagra via the comments.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 22, 2010 1:39:27 PM

I do enjoy your avoidance of apologizing for having a hearty laugh over the death of a father of three children. I suppose you just don't have the character to admit just how vile that was of you.

Anyway, below's an SC quote from earlier today. Tell me it's not gibberish.

"The lawyers here are like fish in the sewer of hyper-proceduralist rent seeking. They have no awareness of the water, let alone of the land and of the air above.

A judge allowing any argument to proceed outside of new innocence facts, gets impeached as a thievin' rent seeking land pirate. Failing removal from the bench, direct action groups of murder victim male family members hunt the weasel, find him, and bring street justice. This is justified because the judge is a self-dealing thief and armed robber whenever allowing lawyer rent seeking. To deter."

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 22, 2010 4:45:11 PM

Alpino: The lawyers understand the above quote. It is in their language, one foreign to you and to all sensible people. If you tell how you have become interested in sentencing, I can cater to your interest. The above is aimed at the lawyer.

Here is a substantive point no lawyer will ever make, because it will kill their business.

The outcome in this case is proper.

In the 123D scheme, crime is eliminated because the person is eliminated, at the earliest age palatable to the public. I suggest the count start at 14, and that no repeat violent offender ever make it to 18. This would spare the public, especially minority folks the peaks of criminal activity in the 20's. Incapacitation is the sole mature goal of the criminal law out of the 5 put forward in lawyer propaganda in law school. Retribution is from religion, and unlawful. Deterrence does not work well in fearless people.

Under, One, Two, Three, Dead, a murderer may go home, as this lady is doing, and a shoplifter gets beheaded if shoplifting is a pretext to get at a violent kingpin. This is a stealthy return of status crimes, deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court decades ago. The public should be sold on it to pass an Amendment. It should be pilot tested in small jurisdictions to find any unintended consequences, such as intimidation of regular people, an unwanted side effect.

Since this scheme would kill all the lawyer clients at a young age, before they get busy, to generate massive lawyer make work sinecures, it is up to you to address it. For disclosure purpose, I do not make significant points if they have not been drilled five to ten layers down in argumentation.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 5:59:01 PM

Prof. Berman: Please, do not block Alpino. He is my good e-friend. He is a bit thin skinned, but he will quickly learn the great lawyer tradition of, "This is only business. Do not take your personal destruction personally. I do not see why you are getting so upset, let your lawyer handle it."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 6:03:37 PM

Alpino-

SC is an act. He's a psychiatrist from Pennsylvania and Supremacy Claus is his hobby. Go to SC's blog, he freely admits that he's a fictional character. The more you tear into him, the more over the top he will go. It's his gimmick.

Posted by: JC | Jan 22, 2010 6:04:56 PM

Alpino: The law school indoctrination wipes out all memory of 10th grade history and freshman Western Civ 101. My points are from these courses, and point to the unlawful nature of the supernatural doctrines modern students are forced to accept. The trip back to high school explains why everyone hates the lawyer, especially, the lawyer. They are the Inquisition 2.0. Same doctrines, same methods, same tools, same business plan, to confiscate from the productive and to give to the lawyer. Some brilliant advocates have explained why this is a good thing. They had even me almost persuaded.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 6:13:00 PM

JC: Have you actually tried fishing or golf as hobbies? Do you not admit this lawyer loving correction cannot be beat as a hobby? I do feel like a bully at times, because the lawyer position is so intellectually weak and untenable, like taking military technology of today and engaging in a fight with people living in the 13th Century. I remember I do it out of love, and feel no remorse.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 6:18:16 PM

"Have you actually tried fishing or golf as hobbies? Do you not admit this lawyer loving correction cannot be beat as a hobby?"

I honestly couldn't imagine you doing anything else, SC. :)

Posted by: JC | Jan 22, 2010 6:50:57 PM

JC: The lawyer will thank me later. There will be statues to the Supremacy at the entrance to ABA headquarters in 100 years. By then, the profession will be one third smaller, controlling for population. The pay will be twice relative to what it is today. It will be an empirically validated, highly successful technical profession, like engineering, not like the priesthood, needing force to persuade.

The success of its goals will be 10 times what it is today. The esteem of the public will be 10 times what it is today, because the rule of law is an essential utility product, as important as water and electricity. The rule of law will be on 100% of the day by then, without any appliance destroying surges. Today, if the law were electricity, it would be on 2 hours a day in rich neighborhoods, 2 minutes a day in poor ones. When it comes on, it surges and makes appliances spark and go on fire.

Finally, the esteem of the lawyer for the profession will be 100 times what it is today.

*********

Small example of something for which the lawyer will thank me. A small personal discovery of unexploited, underutilized lawyer horseflesh.

The brilliant advocate I mentioned is Prof. Berman. I will not reveal private conversations. However, challenge him in private, he is 10 times more brilliant, gonzo, and shocking in his points than in this blog or in his writings, even amicus briefs. He can take an enumeration of pure evil, and make you believe it is the most wonderful phenomenon, and should be embraced, without sounding scholarly, just caring. He will use arguments that are simple and compelling, yet completely original. You feel as if splashed from a fresh mountain stream on a hot day.

I invite the lawyers here to drop their waste of time personal remarks, and to really challenge him intellectually, as I cannot, being a civilian. Be lawyerly. He will not only beat up the other side, but the other side will send him a gift in gratitude. He will also consume scholarly arguments at a very rapid pace. So points it took months to build up, he disposes of in minutes, and you had better start building more, faster, and better ones.

John Roberts was an overwhelming appellate lawyer by his grasp of details. His superior in scoring at the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, was deceptively simple in appealing to decency, fairness, and emotions. Berman would be completely different than either, and may beat both in his track record of success. Although he would be advocating on behalf of causes I find repulsive, I would enjoy watching him work.

The lawyers here are really missing something letting him go on substantive policy disputes, and picking on trivial personal gotchas. I am also sure, he is bored by the school yard stuff, and welcomes the real challenge.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 8:16:47 PM

Doug does not respond. Maybe he is actually ashamed of himself.

Posted by: Alpino | Jan 22, 2010 9:54:39 PM

Alpino: You have emotion about sentencing policy because ...?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2010 11:09:04 PM

Alpino: I did not respond earlier because I have far too many more important things to do than to read and respond to every crazy thing that gets said on my blog (and this reality is the principle reason I let SC and others run amok in comment threats). That said, I wish to clarify that I am not ashamed when I try to add a little levity to the serious matters discussed on this blog. Sometime my efforts are in poor taste, and I am certain that they bother people with hyper-sensitivities like you. But I will not apologize nor concede that I have done anything "vile" in this instance or in other settings where serious personal tragedies prompt my natural (and valuable?) tendency to try to lighten an otherwise dark story.

More substantively, I would encourage you to reflect on whether PC-police like you who attack others for what they say (while hiding behind a screen name) are the ones who should be ashamed of their behavior. Do you think all the time and energy wasted is this comment thread and in other settings debating what should be said amounts to a productive contribution to society? Are you busy writing to every late-night host complaining about all their Tiger Woods jokes or to every comedian that has every based a joke on 9/11 or Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussien or the war in Iraq? All of these involve cases of persons seeking hearty laughs about serious personal tragedies. I won't tell you not to waste you own time complaining to these folks, but I wonder where and how you decide what's "vile" in the use of the spoken word to seek levity.

In short, I suggest we all try to focus our energy and anger at real problems --- such as high crimes rates, mass incarceration and obesity --- not ones we create by taking apparent pride in having skin that is much too thin.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 25, 2010 10:15:46 AM

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