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January 6, 2005

Pitched battle over federal sentencing of elderly offender

Today's Knoxville News Sentinel has this remarkable article about a long-running battle over the sentencing of a severely ill 84-year-old federal gun offender.  Here's the lead:

A veteran judge on Wednesday refused to imprison an 84-year-old man, defying federal sentencing guidelines, the Justice Department and an appellate court mandate.

The judge is Senior US District Court Judge James H. Jarvis, and the article reports that Judge Jarvis said he could not, in good conscience, imprison the defendant:

"I think it'd be cruel and inhuman treatment to put this man in the general prison population in the state he's in now," Jarvis said. "We've got to do our best to do justice."  The judge did, however, order Bostic to be under house arrest and electronically monitored for a year.

January 6, 2005 at 02:23 AM | Permalink


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How refreshing. There are several elements of this story that are on the right track, not the least of them being a judge whose commitment to justice is put into action. There is also the concept of judicial independence at work here. (See information regarding checks and balances as one guiding principle for instituting three branches of our government.) Additionally, and the folks who voted for Bush (see reports about exit polls and values) will be pleased, the judge's decision embraces Christian values like compassion and respect for our elders while still taking a hard line on control of the wicked by using house arrest and electronic monitoring. Success for everone is embodied in this event.

Posted by: Jeannie | Jan 6, 2005 9:52:39 AM

I echo Jeannie's sentiments. I only comment that, in my months of reading this blog, I believe that most readers will be surprised to read of an exemplar judicial officer who can think independently, who can think mercifully while still punishing as socially directed, and who is not simply disposing Draconia punishment. Too often here I have read posters who have railed against those enacting punishments required by the law that their own government representatives have put into place. The posting of this story reminds us that there are three independent branches of government--for all of which, we, the people, are responsible.

Posted by: Jus_Dicere | Jan 6, 2005 10:44:50 AM

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