Sam Redman's Musings

Random thoughts on a variety of subjects

Getting the sentence changed

About the Wayne Bent followers being upset with the sentence ( it did seem somewhat draconian)  and trying to get the governor of New Mexico to take action —- 

On the prisontalk board,  there are literally thousands of posts like the one which follows.  Thousands.  The strongcity women are going through the same frustrations that prisoners families feel continuously (lots of comparisons regarding the severity of sentences). 

On bow-hunter wrote:
When I was 20,now 30, I went in front of a judge for public intoxication.I was a passanger in a vehicle and we were pulled over,the officer told me to step out and BAM PI.When I went to court there was a man in front of me that was charged with burning an infants feet with a cigarette multiple times.The guy got 30days in jail and 6months probation,I was horrified that a man could do this to a baby.To my surprise I rcieved 11months 29days in JAIL!!!! I lost my job and my vehicle.It is absolutly disguisting at how our judicial system operates.

Their chances of getting anything changed is are slim to none… especially by writing to the Governor.  A high priced criminal law firm might do something for them, but they won’t utilize those services.   Had they not gone with the free attorney… my guess is he would have walked.

In my opinion a good (probably would have cost about $100,000)  defense attorney would have depended on the testimony of those two victims.  They were made to order with both saying they weren’t touched inappropriately.  Laying naked… not a crime (oddly).  Touching naked parts… a crime.  Their testimony wouldn’t have been enough to convict and their statements about him not doing anything sexual would have made the jury more in tune with the “not beyond a reasonable doubt” frame of mind.   The best approach for the defense would have been; do a good cross examination and then rest the case.  I think he would have been declared not guilty.  Favorable witnesses like those are like a godsend (an ironic term).  Complicating the case with a lot of other extraneous witnesses in the face of favorable prosecution witnesses just makes your client look guilty (the “doth protest too loudly” thing).  Most people are unaware that the defense doesn’t have to prove anything… the “burden of proof” is entirely on the prosecution.  They have to prove him guilty “beyond a resonable doubt.”  That cross could have raised a lot of doubt and all you have to raise is a one tiny aspect of doubt.  My guess is that Bent called the shots and that Montoya would have wanted to have done it as I described.

Putting on a deceptive witness (saying Bent wasn’t the leader) — suicidal… because it just didn’t ring true, with one of the “victim” witnesses emotionally (crying her eyes out) telling how she knew that he was the son of god and she would follow him like a puppy.  And then that guy comes on and says that Bent wasn’t the leader… it made the defense effort look deceptive.  Putting the accused on the stand?  Even more suicidal.  Especially if he is going to admit to what he has been accused of. 

Their best chance might be to argue that they had bad representation… but,  Bent’s  testimony where he said he would do it again if a child asked… probably absolves the defense attorney of any malpractice culpability.

Best place to read about all of this…  probably is

Check out  the mirror site:   (lot of archives there).

— Sam



This entry was posted on January 8, 2009 by and tagged , , , .