Friday, November 16, 2007

''I think he could have been governor one day.''

That was Judge Dimitrouleas at Ken Jenne's sentencing today. Judge D ordered Jenne to surrender on the spot for his year and a day sentence (the extra day is added so that Jenne will get good time credit -- the sentence has to be more than a year). Jenne will end up serving about 10 months.

Although the parties had agreed that the advisory guidelines were 18-24 months, the probation office recommended a guideline range of 12-18 months. The government lawyers were requesting a high-end sentence of 24 months. Even though the defense was asking for probation, this was a pretty big win for Jenne. U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta came out and criticized the sentence as too light.*

Here's the initial coverage by the Herald and the Sun-Sentinel.

SDFLA blog question of the day: 10 months in jail -- appropriate sentence? too high? too low?

*I thought the U.S. Attorney's office maintains that guideline sentences are always reasonable, so I'm not sure why this guideline sentence -- after a plea and acceptance of responsibility -- isn't reasonable.


Rumpole said...


"Earlier, Jenne was visibly moved as the judge heard from former state Sen. Fred Lippman, Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes, attorney Sheldon Schlesinger and Mack King Carter, pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church"

CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG BUT isn't it improper if not prohibited for a current judge to appear in support of an individual at a criminal sentencing? I like Judge Holmes, but I thought the rules of Judicial Conduct prohibited such actions.

PS: I just cannot abide having to type "qwatZVX" while squinting to see which letters are capitalized and which are not just so I can make a post. Enough already.

David Oscar Markus said...

Why would it be improper to appear for a friend?

As for the word verification, I have to do that because I get a lot of spam comments. I don't moderate (like some other bloggers I know), so I have to leave that stuff in there.... Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Although a bit unseemly, not prohibited:


A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in all of the Judge's Activities

B....A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness.

From the comments:

"Although a judge should be sensitive to possible abuse of the prestige of office, a judge may, based on the judge's personal knowledge, serve as a reference or provide a letter of recommendation. However, a judge must not initiate the communication of information to a sentencing judge or a probation or corrections officer but may provide to such persons information for the record in response to a formal request.


A judge must not testify voluntarily as a character witness because to do so may lend the prestige of the judicial office in support of the party for whom the judge testifies. Moreover, when a judge testifies as a witness, a lawyer who regularly appears before the judge may be placed in the awkward position of cross-examining the judge. A judge may, however, testify when properly summoned. Except in unusual circumstances where the demands of justice require, a judge should discourage a party from requiring the judge to testify as a character witness.

Anonymous said...

So the relevant questions are:

(1) Did the judge get subpoenaed


(2) Did he discourage them from calling him as a witness?

Anonymous said...

Way too low - to the point of disgraceful. I would like to know the last time Judge D sentenced some poor minority defendant to a below guidlines sentence.

Disgrace (unless of course Judge D is going to start using 3553 as his guide - rather than protecting his sentencing decisions by going within every signle time (unless you are a wealthy white lawyer) and saying I have considered...and the recommended guidline sentence is reasonable...)