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January 26, 2018

Still more notable commentary on judicial conduct in sentencing of mass molestor

Perhaps unsurprisingly, lots of folks are still discussing Larry Nassar's state sentencing (basics here), with a number of commentators taking issues with the judge's comments while imposing his sentence and others praising how the entire sentencing was handled.  Here is just a sampling of some of what has caught my eye on this front:

My own thoughts on this matter keep returning to the essential fact that Nassar's state sentencing was much more symbolism than substance from the very start given that he had already received a functional LWOP sentence in federal court AND the fundamentals of his state sentence were largely established by his plea bargain. In this context, I suppose it is not too surprising that so many folks are so caught up in the particulars of the symbolism of how the judge conducted this unique sentencing hearing and spoke sharply to the defendant. But I still find myself ultimately much more interested by and concerned about the work of sentencing judges when it really makes a substantive difference.

Prior related posts:

January 26, 2018 at 01:35 AM | Permalink


But I still find myself ultimately much more interested by and concerned about the work of sentencing judges when it really makes a substantive difference.

And, to that end, I find it intriguing that he wound up with a longer minimum sentence for child porn than he did for actually abusing anyone.

Posted by: Guy Hamilton-Smith | Jan 26, 2018 9:02:51 AM

I cant believe that Michigan university and the Olympic gymnastic committees didnt have the basic guts to stop this mess decades ago.

It looks terribly bad for anyone involved in female gymnastics. When you think of how tough a sport it is and how young these girls are when they train daily to develope what what it takes to compete. Its not as though the training is lots of fun either, its drudging exercises done day after day, with no end in sight.

People dont want to question who they think is an authority or who has money and fame.
Well, this female Judge and the girls who spoke up, slammed Nassir to the turf for the count.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Jan 26, 2018 9:12:52 AM

Midwest. I asked the same. I think there is a culture of trust in the Midwest. It is very efficient. It usually works, because of its small town nature. Do not bother stealing because everyone will know the neighbor is missing something, and you coincidentally just got something very similar. There is virtually no crime, except by people passing through from Chicago or some such. This is the Iowa experience. Michigan is likely to have the same culture outside its big cities. By the same token, misconduct would be well known by every one. So I do not grasp the duration of the misconduct.

That brings up the fear of litigation by the doctor against the employer. That would make employment lawyer intimidation a factor.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 26, 2018 10:32:34 AM

Lawyer question. 8.3 (b) requires the reporting of judge misconduct by the lawyer. If you fail to report it, you need to be reported for failure to report, a violation of 8.3 (b).

If judge misconduct is reported in a news article, and the lawyer is not involved in the case, does the reporting requirement still apply? I would then have to report all lawyers with a subscription to the New York Times if they failed to report the judge misconduct. The rule and commentary are not clear about direct involvement in the case, or just knowledge from any source, such as a news story.

Here is 8.3 (b).

A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 26, 2018 10:39:05 AM

Are we sure that it is not the federal sentence that is more symbol than substance? Typically, sexual abuse cases like this start off in the state system (though not always so). If the defendant, like Nassar, happens to possess images of child pornography, the federal government jumps in because usually the pornography is located on a device that was manufactured outside of the United States, thus creating federal jurisdiction. The defendant gets writted over to federal custody, is sentenced, and is then returned to state custody. Because the state has primary custody, he will serve the state sentence before his federal sentence ever begins. If that happened in Dr. Nassar's case, he will almost certainly never see the inside of a federal prison. On the other hand, if he was arrested and prosecuted by the federal government before the state ever took custody of him, then he may, indeed, live out his life in federal prison before he has to serve his Michigan sentence.

This could all be even more complicated if either the state or federal sentences are ordered to run concurrently with each other.

Some of this complexity is illustrated in the following document: https://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/ifss.pdf

Posted by: Chris Jenkins | Jan 26, 2018 12:02:12 PM

While I am glad the authorities threw the book at Nassar, I am puzzled as to why he made a plea bargain when he didn't gain anything from it. Did he actually have remorse for the crimes he committed against his victims/survivors? Any ideas out there?

Posted by: william r. delzell | Jan 26, 2018 12:22:14 PM

The entire U.S. legal structure regarding SEX crimes has less than zero credibility. That is the crux of the problem. So I hate every single person who even looks like they are even a tiny part of the "SEX offender" witch hunt supported by the vast majority of people who live in the U.S. who are truly nothing more than nosy, know-nothing, holier-than-thou, I-have-an-opinion-about-everything-even-though-I'm-an-idiot, awful, pathetic excuses for humans. Most people in the world hate people who live in the U.S., and for good reason. I'm an American and I hate them. They are not Americans.

The SEX Offender Registries (SORs) should not exist. They are unnecessary and negligibly beneficial. Today, there are no informed, intelligent, unbiased Americans who care about public safety or protecting children who support the SORs. If the SORs were merely worthless, they might not be so bad. But they are far from that and they are a primary cause of literally millions of people hating most people who live in the U.S.

The motto of people who support the SORs is - If it harms millions of children, it's worth it as long as it makes me feel good.

So this judge is just a tiny part of the idiocy. But the legal community is right about what she did. It was idiotic grandstanding that had no business being part of legal proceedings. All the know-nothings need to keep their stupid mouths shut.

The SEX crime industry is immoral and not worthy of judging anyone. This judge helped further tarnish it.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 26, 2018 2:16:42 PM

"Its not as though the training for the bar exam is lots of fun either, its drudging exercises done day after day, with no end in sight."

And even after you become a lawyer its basically drudgery until you die. But it's well-paid drudgery, and that in the end, is what makes all the difference. At least that's my report on the drudge, my DRUDGE REPORT, if you will.

Posted by: Learned Footstool | Jan 27, 2018 5:20:02 AM

Bruce. New civil rights defense for charge of raping children: defendant is trans age. This person will need the accommodation of having a teddy bear when he goes to sleep.


I plan to use this defense if ever charged with murder. I identify as age 2. I am too young to be charged at all. While having a tantrum, I killed a person. That is part of the Terrible Twos. I should be placed in foster care.

While in foster care, I may be too lazy to walk ten feet to a toilet, and may poop my pants where I am rolling around, dripping onto white the velour couch. I will need the accommodation of a diaper change by the foster parents. In my mind, I will be too young to clean up for myself.

The appellate courts will rule, yes, I must be accommodated, or the foster home will be discriminating by age. Objectively, there is nothing about me that shows I am two years old, except for my tantrums, informed by a legal education. However, I feel I am two years old. So, it is age discrimination to treat me as older.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 27, 2018 9:30:41 AM

I support the trans age movement as the next frontier of the great struggle for civil rights. I demand it be addressed in the Democratic Party platform in the next Presidential nomination, in 2020.

Then I should be placed in the corner, for a time out. The foster parents should verbalize the rule, first, "Bad boy, you killed a guy." I am not sure about the criticism, bad boy, since it may affect my self esteem, later.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 27, 2018 9:48:40 AM

Others than me want to know how this abuse could go on for so long.


Posted by: David Behar | Jan 27, 2018 9:57:44 PM

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