Nov 06, 2017 Sentencing success with alternative narrative – Fairfax criminal lawyer
Sentencing success for criminal defendants comes through offering a persuasively alternative narrative to that of the prosecutor. Prosecutors are trained to demonize convicted criminal defendants and to make the sentencing judge averse to having his or her face pasted on the newspapers’ front pages in the event a sentenced defendant commits new horrid crimes after not receiving a stiff sentence. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know the importance of convincing the sentencing judge that my client is very human, and that the judge’s applying my sentencing recommendation is fully suitable for the case.
Sentencing success came to Bergdahl with his criminal defense lawyers’ masterful approach
Mastery at sentencing success was in the news last week as military law dean Eugene Fidell and his criminal defense team pulled a rabbit out of the hat when Bowe Bergdahl’s AWOL (absent without leave case) sentencing judge declined to give him even one day of incarceration, despite the prosecution’s request for lengthy incarceration, and commander in chief Donald Trump’s at an earlier point calling for Bergdahl’s execution.
Bergdahl’s defense team took an at-first-blush lousy situation and turned it around to his benefit. Bergdahl’s story progressed from jubilation over relief from his release from enemy captivity, to recognition that Bergdahl’s AWOL status got him captured in the first place, and that other soldiers got seriously wounded in the effort to find and rescue him.
Fairfax criminal lawyer underlines the importance for the defense to present a persuasive alternative narrative at sentencing and at trial
The brilliant alternative narrative of Bergdahl’s defense team was not to minimize the injuries to Bergdahl’s search and rescue team, but instead for Bergdahl to state his acknowledgment and regret that his actions caused those injuries, and for his lawyers to point out that Bergdahl’s mental health likely was not in the right state for him to have even been accepted into the military in the first place. On top of that, Bergdahl’s criminal defense attorney team suggested offsetting any incarceration time by the recognition of Bergdahl’s years long brutal captivity.
Trump’s case interference may have contributed to Bergdahl’s sentencing success
Finally, Bergdahl’s own sentencing judge communicated the possibility that military commander in chief Trump’s interfering words about the case might result in a more lenient sentence.
As an aside, Bergdahl’s chief lawyer Eugene Fidell has a mind as sharp as a samurai sword and a heart of gold. My life has been enhanced to have known Gene ever since the two of us in the early 1990’s served on the Washington, D.C. area American Civil Liberties Union board.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has been successfully defending thousands of criminal defendants since 1991. To discuss your case with Jon, please schedule a confidential appointment through his staff at 703-383-1100.