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Mehserle Sentencing Expected Friday

Publication Date: 
November 05, 2010
Oakland North
Carl Nasman

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted by the Oakland North in the following story predicting the judge's decision the Mehserle sentencing trial:

Probation or prison? On Friday morning, the sentence of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant III, will rest in the hands of one man, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry.

In the same downtown court building that housed the O.J. Simpson trial, Perry is expected to juggle a wide range of sentencing options from probation to 14 years in California state prison. Perry will also consider a motion filed by Mehserle’s defense in early October requesting a new trial. The final outcome of the racially charged case will be watched closely by supporters of Grant and Mehserle and could ignite more protests in Oakland, the city where Grant was killed on New Years Day, 2009.


Stanford criminal law professor Robert Weisberg says that although the outcome of the sentencing is hard to predict, the gun enhancement might be thrown out or minimized by Perry. “My problem is that it doesn’t make any sense in this case,” said Weisberg. “[Mehserle] is supposed to carry a gun. You would think that [Perry] would choose a pretty low-end sentence on the enhancement and perhaps make the enhancement concurrent with the prison sentence.”