Revisiting the sentence

Posted: March 9, 2009 by yourrights1984 in Uncategorized

Let’s look at  the most outrageous  piece testimony during Rich’s sentencing hearing. A detective testified that Rich said he wanted to be “the Ted Bundy of burglary in Rockford.” No tape recording, no written statement. This testimony begs for some analysis.

Using the name Ted Bundy, a serial killer,  as a reference for a string of burglaries,  would be an obvious persuasive tool for the prosecution. The defendant is accused of a burglary.

What is going on here? ….A police detective says that 17 years ago, the defendant said that he wanted to be remembered as the most deadly serial killer of local burglars?  Say what?  Why compare killing young women with stealing a computer?

It can only make any sense if the newspaper has written 14 stories which shout that Richard Wanke is the prime suspect in the Clark murder. (The murder occured one year and one month ago; there have been no charges filed. The fact that one is the most recent client of a murdered attorney does not make one a murderer. If the prosecutors had evidence they would have imposed murder charges.)

Why talk about Ted Bundy at a burglary proceeding? Was the detective  asking the judge to read between the lines?  Trying to persuade the public? What?

The outrageous story has no place in a sentencing hearing. If you have evidence, bring it to court. But don’t use unsupported suppositions to smear a defendant.

Judge McGraw assured the court that the newspaper stories about the murder of a prominent lawyer would have no effect on the sentencing. Despite Judge McGraw’s assurance,  Richard received a 14 year sentence. This is double the maximum sentence for burglary.

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