Monday, August 06, 2007

Executive branch vs. Judicial branch

The Louis Robles case has pitted prosecutors against the judiciary. The government and the defense had worked out a deal for Robles -- 10 years in prison plus restitution -- and that deal had the blessing of the receiver and almost all of the victims.

Judge Gold, however, won't accept the deal, saying it's too lenient. The government recently filed a 16 page motion for reconsideration explaining why the plea made sense. Judge Gold denied that motion, which now leaves the government with two choices. It can try a case that neither party wants to try. Or it can dismiss the counts that carry more than a 10 year maximum, leaving Judge Gold with no choice but to sentence Robles to 10 years, even after a trial.

Oftentimes, defense lawyers complain that sentencing is driven by prosecutors and that it should be left to judges to sentence, not executive officers. In this case, prosecutorial discretion is important in capping the sentence.

Any thoughts on what the U.S. Attorney's office should do? Should they defer to the judge or stand up for their position?

Here are previous posts on the Robles case. Our initial coverage of the issue is here. The DBR covers the story today but there is no free link yet.


Anonymous said...

Problem is that it appears there are civil lawyers ready to make a killing on a settlement of this case in terms of fees. Why shouldn't that money be paid in a higher percentage to the victims as part of restitution?

Rumpole said...

How about if they all agree to a continuance because the defense hasn't finished taking depos yet. That's what I do where there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

I think that he should have got a longer sentence than 15 years. The lawerys should not get a dime fron this case, all the money that is recived from the sale of his assetts should be given to his victims. My dad went to his grave thinking that he would get the money that he felt was owed to him from the companies that he worked for in his 39 years as a Electriction. my dad started his case with Robles in 1986 he died May-12-03. He never recived a dime !!!!!!!!!!!!