Sentencing

Edge Of The Cliff

Don’t argue with your spouse on the edge of a cliff.

edge of clift

If you do, your case (or that of your spouse) may end up like this couple:


	(l.) Jordan Linn Graham, 22, and Cody Lee Johnson, 25. Graham, 22, of Montana, has been charged with second-degree murder by pushing her husband, Cody Lee Johnson (seen here), off a cliff in Glacier National Park during an argument in July.

Newlywed wife charged with pushing husband off cliff in Glacier National Park.

This case is a federal case because it occurred in a national park.  And, it’s homicide, not business crime.  But, as the article (via @WSJ) —   Accused Montana Newlywed Faces a Wide Range of Punishment   — and Sentencing Law and Policy (Professor Berman) point out, it’s interesting because it shows the potential discretion that federal judges have in sentencing.

On the other hand, a substantial majority of the federal bench came of professional and judicial age in an era when the Sentencing Guidelines were mandatory.  Sometimes, the court needs prodding from defense counsel that it does, in fact, retain significant discretion.  Creativity and persistence is just as important at sentencing as at any other part of a white-collar case.