Saturday, December 15, 2007

Throw away the key?

"I've never seen such a harsh punishment recommended for a non-violent crime," stated James Clapp.

District Judge James Hayes sentenced the Missoula MO man, who was out on parole after serving 9 years in prison for rape on Tuesday December 11 2007. He gave him 75 years for each felony count and added that they were to be served consecutively.

Robert Stearns, 45, had been found guilty by a jury in October of confronting three women in two Hamilton MO parks, then exposed himself and masturbated. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for two counts of exposing himself and one count of intercourse without consent in 1997.

Judge Hayes had remarked that Stearns had not been able to divert and that he had gone to the parks knowing what he faced from his behavior. Stearns was then sentenced to a total of 225 years in prison on the three felony counts.

Clapp, Stearns's attorney, had stated that not only was this a harsh sentence for a non-violent crime but it also amounted to locking up his client and throwing away the key. He added that it wasn't a fair result in light of the crimes commited.

I do believe that what Stearns did to get arrested isn't the nicest of crimes but to get 225 years in comparison to what some armed robbers and killers get for sentences........ I do think it is far over the line. Just the cost alone of keeping Stearns in jail for what could be maybe 40 more years, should be enough to expose this sentence as being over the top.

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