b>Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We previously reported HERE and HERE what many believe to be a grave miscarriage of justice where Montana School Teacher Stacey Dean Rambold was sentenced to Fifteen Years in prison with all but thirty one days suspended after being convicted of the child rape of a fourteen year old student. The victim later committed suicide.
After a public outcry and pressure placed upon the former judge and the prosecutor’s office Judge Randal Spaulding resentenced Rambold, this time to 15 years in prison, with five years of suspended, according to a prosecutor in the case. The court remanded Rambold to custody. He will receive credit for time served under his original sentence.
The presiding Judge in the trial, G. Todd Baugh, garnered intense opposition to his decision and for comments seeming to belittle the crime and essentially that of the child victim. The Montana Judicial Standards commission ruled in February that he “eroded public confidence” in the judicial system and “created an appearance of impropriety.” Judge Baugh said the victim looked older than her years and was “probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant,” according to the Montana attorney general’s office.
State Supreme Court Justice Michael E. Wheat wrote in ruling in April that Baugh’s comments reflected an improper bias and “cast serious doubt on the appearance of justice.”
The Montana Supreme Court prevented Judge Baugh from resentencing Rambold.
According to CNN, Judge Baugh announced his retirement effective at years end. He stated his retirement was unrelated to the sentencing controversy. He apologized for the comments but defended his initial sentence. Writing to a judicial review board, he said: “I am sorry I made those remarks. They focused on the victim when that aspect of the case should have been focused on the defendant.”
At least now a measure of justice was served for the child victim and her family.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
23 thoughts on “Montana Teacher Convicted Over Child Rape Resentenced After Public Outcry Of Original Thirty One Day Jail Term”
Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing more with stepheng2010. The judge was horrendously wrong in his original sentence, and certainly should not be on the bench, and the sentence finally meted out is certainly more just than the original, but as a layman, and a true conservative, the idea that this person, even though he is a monster, would be resentenced because of public outrage, is a little scary.
And Patrick McLaw was put in a mental institution for nothing?
As one of the “the idiots that take this resentencing as an opening to conditions that might erode our basic rights”, who is also practiced criminal defense law in California for over 35 years, there are larger issues at stake.
The prosecution could have filed a timely appeal of the sentence if legal error occurred at the time of sentencing.
But the day that our system of justice operates by mob rule, and cases are reopened for resentencing based on opinion polls, we are all in trouble.
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