Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Judge Martinez reimposes 30 year sentence on cruise ship worker

The guidelines called for 14-17 years, and the 11th reversed because there wasn't enough explanation regarding the 30-year sentence for the following facts. Via Paula McMahon:
A former cruise ship worker who sexually assaulted and tried to kill a passenger told a judge Tuesday that he is having a tough time dealing with the violence he sees every day in prison.
Ketut Pujayasa, 31, has already served 2 ½ years in federal prison for what prosecutors said was an extraordinarily cruel and violent attack on the woman during a cruise that left Port Everglades in February 2014.
Pujayasa admitted he used his master key to sneak into the woman's room, hid on her balcony until she fell asleep and then unleashed an astonishingly brutal assault on her.
 The Valentine's Day attack went on for 30 to 60 minutes and included choking her with electrical cords, hitting her with objects from the cabin and trying to throw her into the ocean from the balcony of the moving ship, according to court records.
 This time, the judge imposed the same sentence with quite a bit more explanation:

He said the extra punishment was appropriate because Pujayasa's actions were so extreme and the effect on the victim was so severe, leaving her with post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and physical and cognitive difficulties caused by her injuries.
Pujayasa will be deported when he is released and would be barred from returning to the U.S.
Pujayasa told investigators he wanted to punish the woman because he believed she had insulted his mother when he tried to deliver breakfast to her room on the Holland-America Line cruise.
He claimed the woman said "son of a bitch" after he knocked three times. The Indonesian native, who worked on cruises for several years, said he thought she was insulting his mother.
He fumed about it for hours and looked for her on the deck of the weeklong nudist cruise, planning to punch her in the face. When he spotted her, he said there were too many other passengers on deck so he changed his plan.
Seventeen hours after the perceived slight, he used his master key to let himself into her room, hid on her balcony and fell asleep waiting for her to return. The woman later wrote that she woke up to a "human shadow trying to kill me with his bare hands."
Prosecutors said the woman only survived the lengthy, brutal attack — which they described as "torture" — because she had unusual physical strength from her training as an aerial acrobat and gym teacher. The woman, who lives in the U.S., filed a civil suit and reached a confidential settlement with the cruise line last year.
Pujayasa, who had never been in any kind of trouble before, apologized again in court, though the victim did not attend his second sentencing.
"I am deeply sorry for all my actions," Pujayasa told the judge, speaking through a court interpreter.
He said he had never hurt anybody before but was incensed by what he considered an insult to his mother, describing her as the person he loves most in the world.
"[Pujayasa] still does not understand that words do not justify these kinds of actions," the judge said.
If the victim said what Pujayasa claimed she said, the judge explained to Pujayasa that it was not intended to besmirch his mother: "She stated a fairly common expression when you stub your toe or get awakened in the night."


the trialmaster said...

Martinez is probably the worst when it comes to sentencing. He failed to give one of my clients his 2 point reduction for failing to accept responsibility when we argued against some of recommendations of probation, and we won several of them. The 11th reversed him summarily. However, in this case it appears the defendant deserved every day of his sentence.

Jack Daniels said...

I am an American who has lived in Indonesia and Bali for more than four decades. While there is no doubt that that Ketut Pujayasa committed a most violent crime, my lingering concern is that cultural differences and a possible failure on the part of the Balinese steward’s court appointed US attorney to adequately explain the overwhelming US Criminal Court system during the trial process has resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

Beyond the fact that there appears to nothing in the Balinese man’s history outside the crime in question to paint his as a violent person, it must be noted that Pujayasa comes from a cultural and a country with a legal system that reduces the criminal penalties imposed if the defendant rapidly and unreservedly confesses his crime and demonstrates remorse. Criminal convictions reported in the Indonesian press on a daily basis sees judges unfailingly impose lighter penalties on those who readily confess their errors and sincerely apologies to his victims. Within hours of the attack, Pujayasa was confessing his crime to his crew mates, security personnel and police. At what time was the Balinese man Mirandized? And was it also explained to him that whatever he may have said prior to being informed of his rights would perhaps not be admissible at trial and that he should henceforth remain silent and let his counsel do the talking? Was Pujayasa operating on the principle that he had already confessed so what difference does it make if he continued to “fess up.”

In his native Indonesia Pujayasa may have been well-advised to confess and apologise at every opportunity in order ro avoid aggressive police interrogation methods and later earn the good will of the sentencing judger. This same behaviour by the Balinese in America may have abrogated the ability of his defence attorney from negotiating a plea bargain and a sentence less than the 30 years imposed by the federal court.

It’s unclear how much of Pujayasa’s three decade long sentence is rehabilitative and much is punitive. He will be 60+ when releases and immediately sent back to Indonesia to try to unite with his now adult children and a wife who have had no contact or even the ability to visit during the course of the sentence. At 60 years of age, unemployable and without financial means of support its hard to comprehend how such a man can experience rehabilitation and resume any kind of meaningful and productive life. And since rehabilitation imposes responsibilities on both the mentor and he who is being reconciled, how can the US play any meaningful role in the reintegration of this man into daily life if they are going to deport him back to Indonesia? He will have spent more than half his life in US care and find himself on an airplane back to Bali free in world from which he will be totally marginalised.

Mr. Markus, I would be interested to hear from you if you feel there is some recourse for appeal of this sentence that champions both justice for all concerned and reconciliation for the criminal with society? Should affadvits be obtained from Pujayasa, court interpreters and his court appointed attorney to record Pujayasa’s state of mind and understanding of the process in which he was intertwined?

If a viable course of appeal exists, please let us know back in Bali. We may be able to mount some sort of modest funding effort to support such a appeal.

To my mind, 30-year sentence for a many living a world away from his family and his religious routes is berift of hope, making such a sentence both cruel and unusual.

J. M. Daniels
Editor BaliUpdate