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September 19, 2008

"At Sentencing, Youth Bares Soul, and Judge Bares His Pain"

The title of this post is the title of this interesting article in today's New York Times.  Here is how it begins:

Justice Thomas Farber’s dilemma in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday played itself out like a dramatic monologue. How much misery was appropriate to inflict on a promising 19-year-old, who himself had inflicted misery on society by dealing drugs, the judge asked himself out loud. “It’s almost an impossible calculus,” said Justice Farber, who sits in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The young man, Yiskar Caceres, had been arrested four times in roughly 15 months for selling or possessing cocaine, and Justice Farber already had given him an opportunity to wipe his slate clean before his most recent arrest, in April.

Now, Justice Farber said, he had no choice but to sentence Mr. Caceres to state prison.  But even in doing so, the judge showed some compassion: he gave Mr. Caceres four and a half years in prison, half the maximum sentence that prosecutors had sought.  Because Mr. Caceres has already served 11 months and will be eligible for a drug-treatment program, he could be out in as little as two years.

September 19, 2008 at 08:53 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 19, 2008 9:33:04 AM


A promising up and coming drug dealer. At least he knows what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Sep 19, 2008 1:37:22 PM

I have had the pleasure of appearing before Justice Farber. He is a person of consideration and thought. He truly has a gift for fairness and for crafting sentences that send appropriate messages of justice and punishment. I have no doubt this man is concerned not only for the safety of the community and of this youngster, but also for the future of the community and this individual. Farber is a judge that realizes that the goal of sentencing should be to return an individual to the community in the least amount of time it takes to rehabilitate or teach a lesson. Any more than that is a waste of both the talent of the individual and the taxes of the people who must pay to keep that person behind bars. I credit his continued attempts to rehabilitate this kid. I hope he finds the cure this time around.

Posted by: That Lawyer Dude | Sep 20, 2008 12:07:15 AM

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