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August 16, 2005

Race, mandatories, discretion and activism in Arizona

As detailed in this news report, a recent criminal case from Arizona has all the ingredients of a modern sentencing drama. The state case involves judicial charges of race-based exercise of prosecutorial discretion and prosecutorial charges of judicial activism, with all the action pivoting around the application of a harsh mandatory minimum sentencing term.  Here are the basics:

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office singled out a poor, black Mesa man for prosecution in a Paradise Valley home invasion but ignored others involved in the crime who were white or affluent, a judge has found.

In a ruling issued Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville said the county attorney’s "craven exercise of its discretion" in prosecuting 20-year-old Patrick Ivey made his mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison "excessive and unfair." ...

Barnett Lotstein, a county attorney spokesman, defended his agency's action and said Granville is displaying "judicial activism at its worst." "The judge obviously disagrees with the harshness of the sentence," Lotstein said Monday. "But we don't believe his comments were predicated on any facts and we will be taking exception to his ruling."

I have not been able to find Judge Granville's ruling on the web; perhaps a reader can help me locate what sounds like a noteworthy ruling.  Beyond the factual intrigue, the case also sounds legally interesting because, according to the press report, "the judge invoked a special provision of Arizona law that will allow Ivey to petition the state Board of Clemency for a lighter sentence after 90 days in prison."

August 16, 2005 at 02:13 PM | Permalink


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Activest against Arizona Justicial system

Posted by: PKA | Feb 17, 2006 3:51:22 PM

I need to know how the STATE of ARIZONA can give a " FLAT SENTENCE" ,in 2005, to someone for the SAME crime that he was imprisoned for, in 1997, with that " FLAT SENTENCE" imposed, satisfied and expired in 1999( convicted of = by signing a plea bargain, during an election year).The question is : HOW CAN ARIZONA GIVE (two) 2 "FLAT SENTENCES" to one person for the same EXACT case?? not a repeat crime!! Arizona refuses to comply with the constitution, everyone is aware of Arizona corruption and it seems that all paid legel help are afraid of their Justice system. There must be someone with enough clout and guts to help those who have been victimized by the ARIZONA JUDICIAL SYSTEM. Arizona complains that their prison system is grossly overpopulated, yet they refuse to send inmates back to their lawful State of residence (while taking pride in the GOVERNMENT money collected for EACH inmate). WHO ARE THE CRIMINALS HERE??? " BOGUS BOOKING for BIG BANKING" When government money is involved, this becomes an F.B.I. awareness campaign. DON'T YOU THINK??????????????????

Posted by: PKA | Feb 17, 2006 5:11:56 PM

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