@GH1618, @Mark 85
"The evidence that he was willing to resort to murder to protect his criminal enterprise was a strong aggravating factor."
Hardly. He hasn't been convicted of murder, so how can that be evidence?. He may be guilty of murder, he may not, but that trial has not yet taken place. Unless the US court system has abandoned the principle of innocent unless proven guilty - something that genuinely would not surprise me - allowing outstanding charges to be presented for sentencing is nothing more than willingly accepting the influence of a smear campaign and pandering to mob rule.
"If you don't believe the judge should weigh aggravating and mitigating factors"
Oh come on, of course they should. That's the whole point of having a judge in the first place.
"The trial for the murders is coming up. Those would be state charges, not federal. Here in the states there crimes at various judicial levels and thus, as in this gentleman's case, multiple trials within the appropriate jurisdiction"
Indeed. But he hasn't been tried for the murders yet, so why on earth are unproven allegations allowed to be submitted for sentencing? The state/federal thing doesn't come into it - if there is indeed a loophole or procedure that allows such things to be done, the US justice system is fundamentally flawed.
Let's take a hypothetical scenario. Imagine, for a moment, you are competing for a promotion at work with a pretty ruthless individual. The promotion will make a huge difference to you - more money, more responsibility, a better future for your family. There's a lot riding on it.
The job goes to the other guy, but you discover he's cheated his way in. But you don't think there's anything you can do about it. Raging inside at the injustice of it all, you go out and get drunk. You drive home pissed, attract the attention of the plod and lose it. You lead them on the mother of all car chases - even Mad Max has to pull over and hide - and eventually you're brought to a halt after causing mucho fear and damage. Fortunately, no-one's been injured or killed.
You go to trial. Because of your previous good character, you plead guilty, you show genuine remorse and make it clear to the court that you know you screwed up big time. You understand you deserve what's coming. For that, you might get a 24-month ban and six months inside. You might even be lucky and get that suspended.
Clear so far? Good. Because here's the nasty bit.
Your oppo, who beat you for the promotion, discovers that you know he cheated, and he'll be out on his ear if you do expose him. So he fabricates some evidence to support more serious charges. Before your trial, he informs the police, who in turn get the OK from the DPP to prosecute.
Yes, it does sound like a bad movie script. But here's the punchline:
Your original charges were driving with excess alcohol, speeding, dangerous driving, failing to stop and criminal damage. That's bad enough, but you've been tried and convicted for those, and you expect to be punished appropriately.
So how would you react when your oppo's list of allegations, which might include embezzlement, attempted murder, rape, terrorism, drug dealing, slave trafficking or whatnot were read out in court, and the judge then handed out a whole-life tariff? Do you think that's acceptable? Because I bloody don't.