Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sentence reduction raises issues of justice.

Sentence reduction in Bernie Tiede case raises troubling issues. Let's talk about that very important, but very ambiguous term, "justice."  Does the following make sense to  you?

"Tiede was given a life sentence in 1999 for shooting the 81-year-old Nugent four times before hiding her body in her freezer in the East Texas town of Carthage. Interest in the case surged after the 2011 release of the movie “Bernie,” in which Jack Black portrays Tiede as a quirky mortician’s assistant beloved by the town. Nugent is depicted by Shirley MacLaine as a grumpy, unpopular cheapskate. . . .
"A judge in May ruled Tiede had been sentenced too harshly because jurors did not know he had felt abused by Nugent and that he had been sexually abused as a child. But while Judge Diane DeVasto let Tiede go free on bond, the Court of Criminal Appeals must decide whether to formally accept the sentence reduction".

OK, so the jury didn't know these 2 things.  Sorry he was sexually abused as a child, but what does this have to do with a grown man murdering an 81 year-old woman?  He "felt abused" by an 81 year-old woman?   I guess that somehow makes this murder less culpable.  Where did they find this judge?  This sentence reduction is morally and legally wrong.  Maybe there's something crucial the source did not report that makes sense of this mess.  If not, this reduction should be overturned on appeal.

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