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February 24, 2007

Sentencing, a love story

This AP article reports on a unique sentencing story from an Illinois state court:

With help from a judge, a man being sentenced to five years in prison also got a life partner. After sentencing 23-year-old David Kite on Wednesday to prison for stealing a lawnmower from a home, St. Clair County Circuit Judge John Baricevic obliged Kite’s request to marry girlfriend Victoria Smith in the same courtroom. The groom sported an orange jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs during the five-minute civil ceremony; the bride had on a T-shirt and sweat pants....

Kite had just pleaded guilty to a felony theft count and was ordered imprisoned when Kite asked for a furlough to marry Smith, promising to surrender to begin serving his sentence afterward.  A prosecutor objected, and Baricevic denied the request.  "Usually to grant a furlough, it has to be an emergency situation. I didn’t think marriage was," the judge said.  Moments later, Kite and Smith said they wanted to get married immediately.  So with Kite in a holdover cell, Smith hustled to the county clerk’s office and filled out a marriage license the clerk brought over for Kite to sign.

I suppose it would be inappropriate to suggest that the defendant here arguably got both a five-year sentence and a life sentence.

February 24, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Permalink


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Many years ago when I was a prosecutor in Nashville the judge denied probation to a fellow who was "living in sin" with his girlfriend. The fellow said if it would do any good he would marry the woman- who was in the courtroom. The judge married them on the spot and put the fellow on probation: a shotgun wedding if there ever was one.

Posted by: David Raybin | Feb 24, 2007 3:47:32 PM

Inappropriate, perhaps. True, definitely.

Posted by: none | Feb 24, 2007 9:13:37 PM

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