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Eurocat
Northwestern Fan
Member since Apr 2004
14991 posts
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A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway

In 2001, Richardson and Claiborne went to trial. A jury found them not guilty of officer Gibson’s murder, but guilty of selling crack.

But in an unusual move, District Judge Robert E. Payne sentenced Richardson and Claiborne to life in prison using “acquitted conduct sentencing,” a legal mechanism approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. In that case, known as Watts, the court ruled that a jury’s acquittal does not prevent a judge from using the conduct the defendant was acquitted of against them when sentencing them for another charge.

“The Court’s decision to sentence Terrence and Ferrone to life in prison despite being found not guilty robbed due process of its very meaning,” said Jarrett Adams, Richardson and Claiborne’s attorney and co-founder of Life After Justice. “The U.S. Supreme Court must do away with its ruling in U.S. v Watts, which gives a judge the discretion to make a jury’s finding meaningless, and prevent further miscarriages of justice from occurring like the one we see in this case.”

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GumboPot
Georgetown Fan
Member since Mar 2009
117327 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
That doesn't seem right.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
114217 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
Alright.

What is the real story?


tiger1014
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2011
12503 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
Sounds just like our fricked up legal system


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294
el Gaucho
LA-Lafayette Fan
He/They
Member since Dec 2010
52650 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
They’re guilty of something, lock em up


4cubbies
UNO Fan
Member since Sep 2008
49528 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

Richardson and Claiborne insisted they had nothing to do with Gibson’s death. But their attorneys at the time told them that they could be sentenced to death if they went to trial and lost. Richardson and Claiborne were poor Black men accused of killing a white police officer in the South. Out of fear for their lives, they took guilty pleas.

“He said if you go to trial and you mess around and you lose, you could get the death penalty,” Richardson told local news.

Richardson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in state prison with five years suspended. Claiborne pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, as an accessory to Richardson’s crime. The county attorney at the time, David Chappell, said he made those plea bargains with Richardson and Claiborne because the case was too compromised: One of the first officers to arrive on the scene was Waverly Police Chief Warren Sturrup, who picked up Gibson’s gun with his bare hands and, in doing so, tainted any fingerprints that may have been on the gun.

Gibson’s family was outraged by what they saw as a lenient sentence for Richardson and Claiborne, who, in their view, had pleaded guilty to being involved in Gibson’s death. Following public outcry, federal prosecutors brought additional charges against the pair accusing them of selling crack cocaine and murdering a police officer during a drug deal gone wrong.

In 2001, Richardson and Claiborne went to trial. A jury found them not guilty of officer Gibson’s murder, but guilty of selling crack.



Land of the free



VADawg
Atlanta Braves Fan
Wherever
Member since Nov 2011
44124 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

The Appeal is a nonprofit news organization that envisions a world in which systems of support and care, not punishment, create public safety.

The Appeal’s journalism exposes the harms of a criminal legal system entrenched in centuries of systemic racism. We equip people with the information necessary to make change, and we elevate solutions that emerge from the communities most affected by policing, jails, and prisons in the U.S.


This is that website's About Us section.

I feel reasonably confident that they're leaving out some important information about this story.


OysterPoBoy
USA Fan
City of St. George
Member since Jul 2013
34372 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

Robert E


That’s problematic.


shoelessjoe
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2006
9834 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
Sounds like the judge in the Trump indictments.


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331
Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
114217 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
Reading about it, it certainly seems really fricked up.


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102
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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
114217 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

I feel reasonably confident that they're leaving out some important information about this story.



I'm trying to find any alternative view and haven't found much.


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113
el Gaucho
LA-Lafayette Fan
He/They
Member since Dec 2010
52650 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
The dudes were selling crack and shot a cop and the jury let them off


lsuguy84
USA Fan
CO
Member since Feb 2009
19016 posts
 Online 

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

David Chappell




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70
4cubbies
UNO Fan
Member since Sep 2008
49528 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

I feel reasonably confident that they're leaving out some important information about this story.


Is it really that hard to believe that two black guys were railroaded for killing a white cop?


BamaScoop
Alabama Fan
Panama City Beach, Florida
Member since May 2007
53770 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
Well our legal system is a fricking joke. Have you seen who goes to law school these days. A pothead, C student can become a Supreme Court justice, law is not a profession.


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136
CleverUserName
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Oct 2016
12100 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

Is it really that hard to believe that two black guys were railroaded for killing a white cop?


You mean to tell me the entire story is that a jury found two black guys innocent of all counts.. everything… and the judge just said, “whatever… I’ll just do what I want and sentence them to life in prison!”

Yea. I find that a little hard to believe.




Warboo
Auburn Fan
Enterprise Alabama
Member since Sep 2018
1630 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

Is it really that hard to believe that two black guys were railroaded for killing a white cop?





They killed a police officer. How did they get railroaded due tell?


loogaroo
LSU Fan
Welsh
Member since Dec 2005
29076 posts
 Online 

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
This is not the same as Trump's trials. Nice try though.


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49
Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
114217 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
The jury did find them guilty of 1 drug count as far as I can tell.

They had previously pled guilty in state court under advice of counsel but were still allowed to maintain innocence on the record despite pleading guilty, and got incredibly light sentences.


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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
114217 posts

re: A jury decided they were not guilty. A judge sentenced them to life in prison anyway
quote:

They killed a police officer.


The federal jury did find them not guilty of this.

It doesn't appear that a single eye witness identified them as the people at the scene. They identified a man with dreadlocks and neither had them at any time.


I'd really like to get the Prosecutions perspective and the Judge's reasoning to get a better view of the "real" story.


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