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Mehserle Won't Get Maximum Sentence, Legal Experts Say

Publication Date: 
October 31, 2010
Source: 
Oakland Tribune
Author: 
Paul T. Rosynsky

Professor of law and director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center Robert Weisberg is quoted in the Oakland Tribune, commenting on the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, a formed BART police office found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Oscar Grant. The story by Paul T. Rosynsky can be found here:

While no one but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry knows exactly how long former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle will be sent to prison, if at all, most legal experts agree it won't be for the maximum term of 14 years.

No matter how loud the community shouts for Mehserle to be given the most severe punishment for killing Oscar Grant III, Perry will be guided by state law and court rules when he issues his decision Nov. 5 and both guidelines, experts say, point to Mehserle receiving, at most, a mid-term sentence.

...

"Judges, in their own heads, they develop a set of factors, it's kind of a point system," said Robert Weisberg, professor of law at Stanford Law School. "The judge will essentially say I will start out with (the mid-term) and then he will think about this case compared to the average person doing the average involuntary manslaughter."

...

"To do this double think about the jury verdict, that is not right," Weisberg said. "It doesn't make sense legally."