Rape, Incest And Retribution

As of this moment, there are 106,673 “signatures” on a petition, or what the New York Times’ Public Editor, Liz Spayd, calls “an initiative.”  Its purpose is clear:

We the people of Montana, cannot sit by and watch the repeated injustice of our court system. There was an obvious bias toward the protection of the convicted child rapist, who was sentenced to less than the minimum required for his admitted crime. Justice for the victim was not served.

We want Judge McKeon impeached and his retirement benefits revoked. He acted in a way which was a direct violation to the Montana Correctional and Sentencing Policies and the Canons he is required to uphold as an elected Judge. He disregarded a plea deal of 100 years, with 75 suspended recommended by the prosecution and instead let the admitted, child rapist walk free on a minimal incarceration and probation. The convicted man admitted to repeatedly raping his 12 year old daughter and accepted the plea, knowing he would be sentenced to 100 years, yet because of Judge McKeon, he will be free to reoffend.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

It’s unlikely that many of the signers at the change.org petition are constituents of the judge or the politicians to whom this letter will be sent. It’s unlikely that anyone with any knowledge of law will read the petition and find anything about it legally persuasive, as it’s the gibberish of outrage, the strung-together legally-meaningless sputtering of random people on the internet.

And yet, the sentence imposed by Judge John McKeon was incomprehensible. He decided not to impose the negotiated sentence that would have resulted in 25 years of imprisonment for a father who raped his 12-year-old daughter, and instead suspended all but 60 days.

While the Brock Turner case launched a thousand op-eds and cries for castration, the New York Times headline on the Montana sentence couldn’t, at first, bring itself to call this rape:

The New York Times’s Express desk caught up to the news on Friday, but it put a headline on its story that drew its own protests:

“Montana Judge Criticized for 60-Day Sentence for Man Who Has Sex With His Preteen Daughter.”

After an outcry over calling it “has sex with his preteen daughter,” it became headline-fluid:

Editors were clearly struggling with the headline, changing it five times over the course of the day. About three hours after the initial headline went up, a new one was put on the story, getting a little closer to the mark, but clunky: “Montana Judge Criticized for 60-Day Sentence for Man for Incest With Daughter, 12.” Finally, after three more tries, the headline read: “Montana Judge Is Criticized for 60-Day Incest Sentence.” (Still later, the headline was changed again, to “Outrage Follows 60-Day Sentence in Incest Case Against Father of Girl, 12.”)

This was rape. This was incest. How, then, could a newspaper so dedicated to the cause of feminism and gender pain blow it so completely?  Was it some bizarre fear of calling a rape a rape? And why, oh why, have there not been a thousand op-eds demanding that Judge McKeon be drawn and quartered as happened to Judge Aaron Persky? To the extent there are arguments in support of Judge Persky’s sentence, there is precious little to say for Judge McKeon.

But then, this wasn’t the new-fangled rape, the sort that evokes the ire of women who demand that judges adopt their cutting-edge definition of rape and vindicate their feelings about how males must be taught a lesson to respect women’s agency. This was old-school incest, violation of not merely law, but basic norms, taboos that have long guided our society.

It’s not that the “signatures” of more than 100,000 slacktivists are inconsequential. But in the scheme of lawprof Michelle Dauber’s jihad against Persky, this is a pebble tossed at the bench.

The sentence imposed by Judge McKeon is outrageously lenient.

[McKeon] wrote in his judgment that the exception to the mandatory sentence was appropriate since prosecutors did not challenge a psychosexual evaluation that said the man could be safely treated and supervised as a sex offender in the community.

He also cited the lack of direct input from the victim or an advocate on behalf of the victim to the court.

McKeon also cited letters written by the girl’s mother and grandmother asking for leniency.

But there are additional considerations, retribution, general deterrence, which far outweigh rehabilitation and specific deterrence. We’re talking about a father raping his own preteen daughter here. It does not get more disgusting than that.

So where are the feminist lawprofs? Why has this been left to a barely literate online petition? Why does the New York Times not care enough to call it rape? Has the very concept of rape become so politicized, so bound in gender feelz, that feminists can lose their shit over a college boy’s sexual assault, but can barely muster the energy to sign an online petition?

All is not lost, however. As Doug Berman highlights:

Fresno prosecutor Nicole Galstan asked a judge on Friday to sentence Rene Lopez to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period, ending in 2013.  Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. agreed, sentencing the 41-year-old Lopez to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history.

From the sublime to the ridiculous. As Doug points out, the sentence is absurd.

Though this defendant was convicted of extreme crimes that justified an extreme sentence, the decision of the prosecutor to seek and the judge to impose a term of 1,503 years in prison strikes me as silly and arguably counterproductive to the goal of helping all victims of sexual assault feel vindicated by the criminal justice system.  It is silly, I think, to impose upon a defendant a crazy-long-impossible prison sentence just for symbolic effect, just as a restitution sentence of, say, “one trillion, zillion, billion dollars” would be silly.  And this crazy-long-impossible prison sentence could, at least indirectly, make other victims of sexual assault whose victimizers were given much shorter sentences feel as though their harms were not entirely vindicated in their cases.

But then, when sentences are divorced from reality, whether because they’re absurdly long or absurdly short, it gives rise to the public perception that this is all just a big game subject to the whims of feelings, outrageous on either end, and without any legitimate grounding in doctrine or purpose.  And if Lopez’s sentence wasn’t insane enough,

In addition to the prison sentence, Sarkisian said Lopez will have to register as a sex offender.

After he’s released from his 1,503 years in prison. That will teach him to never rape his daughter again.

49 comments on “Rape, Incest And Retribution

  1. B. McLeod

    As with the Turner case, this is a case in which the presentencing evaluation reportedly supported the court’s action. A number of other factors reported in some of the press articles did as well. Apparently the case fell within a narrow set of criteria established by Montana law to authorize such sentencing departures. I would agree that the media has done a more balanced job of reporting here than in the Turner case, but it is probably due to the absence of a Dauber figure handing them a rabidly biased press piece at the front end.

    1. SHG Post author

      There are two distinct concepts involved here. First is the span of sentences lawfully available for an offense. Second is where, within that span, a substantively reasonable sentence falls. Your comment deals with the first. It’s the second that presents the issues raised in the post.

      1. B. McLeod

        Sentencing is a crap shoot, especially in these state cases. As I’m sure you well know, there are defendants serving serious federal time for having pictures, while this guy gets this. Still, “suspended” isn’t the same as “gone” (unless Montana is vastly different than any jurisdiction where I have practiced). This is a 30-year sentence, and if he misses a condition or fudges a restriction, he stand to serve significant time.

        1. SHG Post author

          That’s the sword hanging over his head, but even if he violates a term of his release, it doesn’t mean he gets the full monty, but only so much as the judge imposes relative to his violation. It could be the full term, but not for fudging a restriction.

  2. JBCWV

    The sex offender risk assessment is typically either totally ignored by sentencing courts, or if it’s negative, will be used as a justification for imposing maximum consecutive sentences (or their functional equivalent). I have seen a small minority of sex case defendants benefit from these types of evaluations, but if this trend of the national-level outrage machine continues for random one-off sentencing decisions, one wonders if any judge will be willing to put his or her electoral prospects on the line to give a particular defendant a chance to avoid imprisonment.

  3. B. McLeod

    Also, based on what do these Yahoos believe they can simply vote to revoke the retirement benefits the judge earned over the course of 22 years on the bench? I would be shocked if Montana’s law or constitution permits that.

  4. E. Vancleave

    I’m not all too surprised by this. I’m working on six years as a police detective in the sex crimes against children division and I’ve seen defendants get light sentences or found not guilty by jurors for all types of reasons: They believed the victim but did not like the child’s mother, the defendant does not look like a child molester, the defendant is too young to be given a long sentence, the defendant had letters of recommendation, etc. I’ve come to the conclusion a long time ago that despite what politicians and people say they don’t really care about other people’s children. Both CPS and police divisions dedicated to child sex crimes are kept short manned and hidden away. People don’t want to think or accept that things like this occur.

  5. Arctic_Attorney

    A 1503 year sentence is totally ridiculous. 1500 would have been sufficient in that case. 1499 would have been far too lenient though.

      1. Jim Tyre

        The late Jack Valenti once advocated that the term of copyrights should be lengthened to forever. When advised that The Constitution provides that copyrights must be for only limited times, he reformulated his advocacy to forever less one day. That might work well here.

          1. Jim Tyre

            Who said he was smart? This is the same Valenti who once said “I sleep better every night just knowing that LBJ is my President.”

      2. Marc Whipple

        Well if the extra month would have kept him in prison over Christmas, I think the answer is quite obvious.

        It is interesting, at the risk of getting a rolled-up newspaper applied to my noggin, to consider a 1500 year sentence in terms of how long the average judicial system even *lasts*. Suppose mighty Rome had imposed such a sentence on the Wandering Jew. I’m sure the Caesars would have thought Rome would easily persist long enough to administer it. And today we moderns laugh and laugh at their hubris. I almost wish I’d be around in 1500 years just to see what they’d think of the idea of some distant primitive finally being eligible for release.

        I think that qualifies as a test for your second point above – if it is unlikely that your legal system will even be around by the time the sentence ends, the sentence probably isn’t reasonable.

    1. Tin Man

      Even worse, under California’s generous good behavior credit scheme, he’s eligible for release in a mere 1202 years, 5 months.

  6. Franklin Michaels

    This may be implicit in your argument, but it strikes me that it’s not just that this isn’t “new fangled rape,” but that those pushing the boundaries sense (or understand) that their bold assertions don’t hold up so well to the comparison, and it’s on account of which they’re disinclined to go there. That and getting your head around this hurts anyone’s feelings.

  7. Frank Miceli

    Isn’t it relevant that the mother begged for leniency for her husband, saying that a long sentence would seriously harm their two young sons by depriving them of their father? Beyond that, it strikes me as arrogant and foolish to pontificate on a court action of this kind based only on media reports and withhout at least reviewing the transcript.

    1. SHG Post author

      Great points, since no other defendant has ever left behind children when imprisoned for a lengthy sentence, particularly when it’s a malum prohibitum crime rather than one as horrific as this, and the transcript probably offers a perfectly acceptable explanation for a father raping his 12-year-old daughter that will make this crime far more acceptable. Very thoughtful.

      1. Frank Miceli

        Your faux high dudgeon is lively and amusing but you might try a direct answer to the question rather than implying that a judge should never consider the impact on young children of sentencing their father to a long sentence. As to my comment concerning the transcript, I never suggested it would offer an excuse for the crime; only that it could have offered support for a minimal sentence.

        1. SHG Post author

          How nice that I amuse you, but since you aren’t the first blithering idiot to show up here, and since you aren’t the first nutjob who feels entitled to have his stupidity take seriously, your only recourse is to press the pink button on the sidebar. Volenti non fit injuria. Now get lost.

          1. cthulhu

            But…he used the reply button!

            On a more serious note, the NYT headline roulette…one of the more bizarre antics of the Gray Lady in recent memory. I am bumfuzzled.

            1. SHG Post author

              Sex offenders love to argue their cause, without any recognition that it doesn’t play to people who aren’t as clueless as they are. But he did use the reply button, for which I’m very grateful.

  8. 1503

    The Montana case is ridiculous, far worse than the Stacey Dean Rambold case, also from Montana. In the Rambold case, there was a plea bargain for no jail time because the victim had killed herself, which would have made it difficult for the prosecution to prove its case. Based on a weak first probation violation, the prosecution wanted to slam him with 15 years. The judge caught hell for giving Rambold 31 days, which is a perfectly normal sentence for a first probation violation. The prosecution there and activists were able to twist the facts to make it seem like the guy was getting 31 days for the unlawful sex, not the PV.

    By contrast, this new guy in Montana just won the judicial lottery and got a slap on the wrist for something that would have almost certainly resulted in 12-16 years in California, with no ability to suspend it. I have no doubt that these kind of lottery-win cases would get reversed on appeal. There are limits to discretion.

    The 1503 case is a bigger problem. THAT case does not even look like rape based on the publicly reported facts. It looks like a deviant incestuous relationship with a girl for a very long time, who was age 16-20. She dumped him and he acted like a dumped boyfriend, sending her love songs. That’s not indicative of violent rape. The charges should have been for unlawful sex for the period from before she turned 18, and incest for the period after. The prosecutor never should have stacked so many charges, and the judge never should have run them all consecutively. Has the girl been under 14, the law provides a charge for such a fact pattern, called continuous sexual abuse (288.5) and it carries up to 16 years. It is one charge. You can’t break out the calculator and stack charges like this. So if she was 12-14 he gets 16 years, but if shes 16+ he gets 1503?

    If he kept her chained up in his basement, violently raped her, tortured her, and then ate her piece by piece, he would have ended up with less time. He could have done that to a dozen women and ended up with less time. Defendants who are facing sentences like this will start killing victims because risk/reward makes murder a rational, logical choice to silence the victim. Some people might be deterred, others who aren’t deterred might do far worse things once the specter of getting an excessive sentence rears it’s head. Look at how Jesse James Hollywood ordered the murder of his kidnap victim once he found out what the penalty for kidnapping was.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yes, we’re lawyers and judges here. We kinda get all that law stuff, but thanks for explaining it at length, as if everyone here is a moron and needed you to spell it out for us.

      And if you don’t use a real email address, then you don’t get to comment again (which would probably be just fine with everybody). You’re not special.

  9. Chris M

    As a post-release convicted “sex offender” who had the privilege of attending NC’s highly-acclaimed SOAR treatment program, I can say that I have a unique perspective on this article. We were given very real glimpses into the plight of victims, though we could never truly know how it felt to be our victims.

    Anyhow…

    Obviously, the victim of the Montana case is of paramount concern. The girl almost certainly suffers emotional scars from her father’s betrayal that may never heal. A short jail/prison sentence will not give her the time to feel safe enough to heal. And yet, there is the possibility that the girl still loves her father and wants him in her life. So if this is the case, the question really becomes about the balance between proper punishment for the crime versus the needs of the victim. Ideally the recommendation of a court-appointed family therapist would come into play. I’m sorry, but IMO letters from the victim’s mother and grandmother should hold far less weight than the victim’s physical and emotional well-being. I also disagree with the argument that the sons may be deprived of their father. Their safety should be taken into account as well. Crimes deserved to be punished, and that’s man’s crime was egregious. His sentence should reflect that.

    I like NC’s structured sentencing laws that give minimum and maximum sentences for each crime based on the crime’s classification. The judge can take factors into account that may determine where the sentence falls within the pre-determined range but for the most sentencing is taken out of the judge’s hands.

    In the case of the 1503 year sentence, it is silly, but I think perhaps it also sends a message. People reading an article about a “life-without-parole” sentence are unlikely to remember it a day later. A sentence of a millennium and a half is memorable. It creates conversation. Conversation about sex offenses is what we need; not the Nancy-Grace-outrage-type of conversation, but conversation about what causes it, what constitutes sexual assault, what constitutes rape. Maybe it’s not so silly after all if it causes people to think about their actions before they do it.

    And just as an afternote: I agree with the author. If it’s rape, call it rape. Don’t fucking sugarcoat it. A 12 year old girl, wouldn’t and couldn’t truly consent to sex with anyone, much less her own father. But let’s take it a step further. When journalists… hell, any of us…. relate a story about about a sexual abuse or sexual assault or a rape, let’s stop saying that the offender “had sex with” the victim. Saying “with” implies a voluntary interaction by the victim. No. That’s no good. From now on, let’s say that the offender “had sex ON” the victim. It more accurately describes the events that took place.

  10. Stephen Douglas

    Recidivism for sex crimes is second lowest (only murder is lower) and this is true in all studies among all jusisdictions for the past 70 years. Reciidivism is not an issue in any way shape or form. These sentences and all of the reaction behind them are solely reactions of digust and repugnance by the rest of the community. That’s a bad way to make law. A terrible way.

    But outrage satisfied feels so damn good, doesn’t it? Such a human emotion, all the Clint Eastwood movies and thousands other movies are made up of it. Lynch mobs were made up of it. We thought we were better than that. But we never were.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yes, we know recidivism rates for sex crimes. Specific deterrence is only one of the five sentencing factors. Disgust and repugnance by the community is very much what the retributive aspect of a sentence is about. Not only is not a bad way to make law, but it’s very much why conduct is criminal. Nor is it an “outrage” to impose a proportionate and reasonable sentence. 1503, yes. Five years, no.

      1. Stephen Douglas

        Actually, no “we” don’t know the recifivism rate for sex crimes. Very few know it and it is many many times stated as wildly high when it is not.

        Retributive justice does not work clearly as shown by the cruel and unusual “justice” system of the US. So, stating that ugly, counter productive retributive justice is very much what a sentence is about is just re-stating what I said, in other words, it doesn’t make it right or make any sense.

        It’s a bad way to make law. Something is criminal because a society has collectively decided (by passing a law against it) to make it criminal. Disgust and repugnance at those filthy immoral pot smokers is responsible for the wasteful, now-falling everywhere anti-marijuana laws of old. Disgst and repugnance makes for bad law. Period.

        A sentence of 50 lifetimes is an outrage. It is not reasonable nor is it proportionate. The person in question was offered 13 years and then again offerred 22 years. Both would have been proportionate and reasonable. He was punished for bringing it to trial. Prosecutorial overreach and judicial ignorance brought this preposterous sentence. If 13 years was good enough for the guy then 1500 is just vengence. And that is bad law.

        1. SHG Post author

          I see you’re confused. By “we,” I referred to readers here, who are primarily lawyers and judges. I was not referring to you, whoever you are. You are not the center of the universe, and showing up for your pet peeve doesn’t mean this place is all about you and what you know. As for the 1503, its excess was made clear in the post. Spread the rest of your simplistic nonsense elsewhere.

      2. D-Poll

        Disgust and repugnance by the community also gets us sodomy laws and “hate speech”. Drawing a line based on harm is useless because the community ultimately defines the concept of harm, too, as we are regrettably discovering on college campuses across America today. Thousands of years of moral philosophy have yet to find stable purchase amid these grounds. It’s true that we can’t have a criminal justice system without accepting the role of disgust and repugnance, but we can try to limit the degree to which we allow them to influence our decisions. After all, the only purpose of retribution is to make yourself feel better, and many of us don’t think that’s good enough.

        1. SHG Post author

          You’ve used up your quotient for incredibly simplistic crap for a day, so here’s the short version of why this is nonsense. Everything isn’t binary, totally good or totally bad. Disgust and repugnance are important societal considerations, but they are also constrained by something called the Constitution. It’s not that there isn’t speech that’s horrible and offensive. There is. It’s that the Constitution limits what can be made criminal.

          And while I’m no fan of retribution, it’s wrong and simplistic to say it’s “only purpose…is to make yourself feel better.” It’s purpose is to reflect societal condemnation of conduct that causes very real harm to people and gives the legal system legitimacy to society. Being on Team No Retribution is fine, but that “many of us don’t think that’s good enough” isn’t relevant. It’s no more all about what “many of” you (and realize that you’re a vast minority) than the tyranny of the majority.

          And if you need a more palatable reason not to adopt a facile position, the societal reaction by the vast majority is grow increasingly harsh and inflexible as a result of outcomes like this. Is that really what you want to achieve? You’re going to lose that battle big time, because the other Team is just as simplistic and binary as you are, and they are by far the majority.

          1. D-Poll

            Oh, don’t worry; when I say “many of us don’t think that’s good enough”, I’m trying to explain, not convince. Many of us also do think that’s good enough. I don’t get paid enough to try to bridge that gap, notwithstanding that it’s philosophically impossible anyway. Although, as far as the factual disagreement goes, I’ll take “simplistic” but “wrong” is itself simplistic: condemnation and legitimacy are feelings, which the purpose of retribution is to make people feel. Whether or not they are right to feel that way is part of that gap I’m not going to try to bridge.

            Of course, a part of me can’t resist arguing that the Constitution’s limits on what can be made criminal represent a claim, whether or not people still believe it, that speech can never be “horrible and offensive” in the same way as, say, daughter-rape – a dictate out of the past that whatever disgust and repugnance we come to feel about speech is simply wrong, and we should save our disgust and repugnance for more important things. But that part of me is going to shut up now, because this isn’t about me.

        2. Stephen Douglas

          Indeed, unlike author SHG, retribution’s only purpose is to make the community feel better. It has no effect whatsoever on other crime and on the convicted criminal. The author is full of ad hominem and argument from authority logical fallacies. Because he is a part of the law, he feels that he knows best. He moderates his blog to prevent (aka censor) any other opinion, only letting in a viewpoint other than his in order to viciously attack it and then ban it. His sycophantic readers jump in with their own comments showing their pride and bias.

          Disgust and repugnance never ever has a place in making law. The Founders recognized this in the cruel and unsual ammendment and in the banning of ex-post facto law making. That has broken when it comes to sex crimes. Both judge and prosecutor should face dispbarment and censure for offering 13 years then punishing with 1503.

          If there is no justice for one there is no justice for any. Tame your disgust. I’m not a hobbyist. I’m as American as you. And I know the law.

          1. SHG Post author

            There ya go, D-Poll. You’ve got a fan. Maybe you guys can form a club and teach us criminal defense lawyers a think or two. He knows the law.

  11. Miles

    Damn. Write a post about rape and incest and the nutjobs come out of the woodwork. It must be fun to be you.

    1. SHG Post author

      You have no idea. Beyond the day-trippers, I’ve trashed the comments from the flamers who want to use SJ to argue that rape and incest is at worst benign, and at best, totally fun stuff. Unbelievable the shit I have to put up with. Nothing brings out the lunatics like a sex offense post.

  12. D-Poll

    You’re a hard man to please. You wanted judges to look beyond the workaday facts of the crime and see the human element instead of punting to the Sentence-O-Matic, but now you criticize a judge for seeing the human element differently than you would’ve, for actually being a judge and judging? What, if you were defending the case – or if you were the defendant – would you say, no thanks, Judge, that’s much too lenient? Of course not. My respect for you compels me to assume “of course not”. I wouldn’t fault you (quite the opposite!) for taking the offer, so why should I fault the one who offers it?

    I understand that you seem to be saying that there is no human element that justifies leniency for daughter-rape. Then again, you aren’t wearing the black robe. You don’t know what human element Judge McKeon saw, nor what brought him to value it this way. Maybe there was a good reason that you just haven’t thought of. Maybe, like the Turner case, the facts turned out to be hazier than they appeared at first blush. Maybe there was no good reason, and Judge McKeon just woke up feeling generous today. Is that really a bad thing? Don’t you think that, if all sentences were like this, then whatever the flaws of that plan might be, we would at least be better off in some significant ways than we are now?

    1. SHG Post author

      You mixed a lot into there, but I’ll try to address some of it. If I was the defendant’s lawyer, I would be thrilled at the sentence, but then, that’s my role as defense lawyer. My duty is solely to my client and nothing else. If I look at this from a detached perspective, then the considerations are different (essentially, I place myself in the position of the judge, without the bias of being the defense lawyer). “So why should I fault the one who offers it?” Because he has a very different job to do. This is a foolish comparison.

      By no means do I dismiss the “human element,” but that doesn’t mean that I indulge in the simplistic binary thinking that so many of the unsophisticated advocates do here and elsewhere. Even if the defendant was the most sympathetic, most wonderful, most deserving defendant who raped his 12-year-daughter ever, he still raped his daughter. The human factor applies to this defendant as it should to every defendant, but that doesn’t make the crime disappear. If we were arguing whether the proper sentence was five years or 50 years (or 1503 years), these mitigating factors would justify erring on the low side. But the crime still occurred. The range of substantively reasonable sentences remains intact.

      As for McKeon waking up waking up “feeling generous today,” if that means he goes to the low end of a substantive reasonable sentence, great. But when he departs of substantive reasonableness, then its a systemic wrong. Same thing if he woke up feeling grouchy today and sentenced the defendant to 1503 years. Sentencing is not simply a matter of a judge’s mood. While that would be great when it cuts your way, it would be a disaster when it doesn’t. No rational person would suggest that sentences disconnected from their purpose are a good systemic thing.

      I appreciate that simplistic, binary thinking, that fails to take into account all the legitimate sentencing criteria because they’re unfamiliar or inconvenient to a position, is easier than knowledgeable, sophisticated thought, but it’s not a good thing, even if one is a defense lawyer. Crime is still crime. We defend people accused of crimes. We do not “support” or “dismiss” crime. Only an idiot is so myopic and clueless as to refuse to acknowledge that crime happens and it can do terrible harm.

      1. D-Poll

        I don’t mean to suggest “supporting” or “dismissing” crime. I see how I gave that impression, but it was an accident. The point where we differ is simply that I do think this is a reasonable sentence that even includes a healthy amount of retributive social condemnation. It is certainly many more days than I am interested in spending imprisoned any time soon. It’s hard for me to imagine a crime that would seriously justify putting a person in a cage for fifty years (to use your example), and I can imagine a lot. I wonder, though: would you say that the proliferation of life-plus-cancer sentences means the bar for social condemnation is raised, because smaller sentences no longer present the same punch in headlines, even if they still come with plenty of punches for the defendant?

        1. SHG Post author

          Seriously, who gives a fuck if some random, anon asshole on the internet think it’s reasonable? Why do you think anyone cares what you think is reasonable? Who the fuck are you?

          1. D-Poll

            I didn’t expect you to care! If I had fully understood what you meant beforehand, I wouldn’t have bothered to say anything. That last post was just me trying to explain, apologetically, why I bothered to say something that turned out to be useless. I was trying to annoy you less, not more! Clearly, I still need practice at that!

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