Found guilty of both lying to Congress and tampering with witnesses, Roger Stone has finally been sentenced to 40 months in Federal Prison. Everyone is impressed by the way the case was handled and it is satisfying to see that at least some justice has been served after a very long and difficult battle. The career prosecutors and the Judge did work to some extent in order to ensure that the best result came out of this case despite all the political interference.
Stone was originally set to be sentenced for a much longer period, but the Justice Department retracted its decision and decreased the sentence due to fear of Donald Trump. This anti-democratic behavior resulted in four jurors resigning from the case. The backlash and disdain towards the Justice Department from both the public and the jurors came because the decision was reversed shortly after Donald Trump sent out some tweets threatening them for choosing such a lengthy trial. The Justice Department stated they did not change their decision due to Donald Trump’s tweets specifically, but they admitted that the knowledge of how much he looked down on this trail had influenced their decision to change the sentencing.
40 months in Federal prison is still less then what Stone deserved. However, it is not unusual for this to happen, and sentences are often given outside the legal guidelines based on the situation. In the case of Roger Stone, career prosecutors made the recommended decisions that prosecutors are expected to make according to the Justice system.
It is important to note that Stone did not plead guilty, admit to his mistakes or even accept any form of responsibility for his actions. Instead of cooperating he did the exact opposite and showed clear contempt toward the Justice system throughout his entire trial. The fact that he behaved in this manner should have resulted in him getting more serious sentencing, at least one that fits the guidelines; however, he was let off with 40 months in prison. This may seem like very serious sentencing but for the crimes Stone committed and the lack of remorse he showed, should have caused him to face more serious sentencing.
Did Judge Jackson do the right thing?
Though the sentencing wasn’t as severe as it should have been, Judge Amy Berman Jackson did at least give Stone the harsh treatment he deserved and reminded him that despite his best efforts to deny it, the truth does still matter at the end of the day.
With so much pressure from Donald Trump to protect his long-time friend from being put behind bars, the Justice System was scrambling to try and find a balance between democracy and political correctness. Despite Trump’s threats, however, Stone still got slapped with fairly tough sentencing and will have a lot of time to think about whether he should have felt remorseful or not when he is sitting in Federal prison.