I don’t want to leave you all hanging, so — yesterday the judge sentenced my client to 11 years in prison. She will serve just short of another 8 years (she’s been in custody for 530 days for which she has received credit). She did a fabulous interview with Dateline (I don’t use the word “fabulous” regularly). The sentencing hearing was, however, bedlam. There were cameras everywhere, wires strung across the floor and the courtroom was full of people with opinions. Only one of those people really knows what happened back in January, 2002. I think it is fair to say that the anger was palpable. The sentence was imposed (in my opinion) more because the death was concealed for eight years than because there was a death.
Ellen is at peace with the sentence. She had the opportunity to fully recount that night and what led up to it. She knew there was a great possibility that the Court would impose the maximum time permitted by the plea agreement.
The aftermath: The crazies — people that do not understand for our system to work there must be an advocate for each side of the question — are posting angry (sometimes threatening) comments on the TV news station blogs and elsewhere. I take precautions for my safety, but otherwise I don’t let them bother me. I know my job and I know it’s not always popular. I believe what I do is so important to democracy. I warned my client’s family to be extra vigilant.
So, I’m going to the office in a little while to dig out. I have other clients that have been sorely neglected.