Thursday, March 06, 2014

People v. Sasser (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 11, 2014)

There's certainly a lot at stake in this appeal.  In particular, 37 years in prison.  Because after a remand by the Court of Appeal for resentencing, the trial court imposed a sentence that was 37 years longer than the defendant had initially received.  Defendant says that's impermissibly vindictive, so files yet another appeal.

You'd think that's important, right?  Thirty seven years is presumptively a big deal.

Until you realize that the guy was originally sentenced to 458 years to life in prison.  So his current appeal says that he shouldn't have gotten anything more than that on remand, rather than the 495 years that he in fact received.

With that context in mind, can you think of a more practically meaningless appeal?  458 versus 495 years in prison.  You say tom-ay-to.  I say tom-ah-to.  Let's call the whole thing off.  'Cause you're spending the rest of your life in prison, dude.  Regardless of whether you "win" your appeal.

Which -- just to add insult to injury -- you don't.

Thank goodness we spent money on lawyers, judges, etc.  Because I definitely care whether the guy's corpse gets let out of prison in the middle of the twenty-sixth century or whether he instead gets let out in 2599.