Monday, September 13, 2010

"Adolf Hitler loved his dog. Yet he killed six million Jews."

Today the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Wood, upheld the conviction of Jose Figueroa for conspiring to deal drugs, but remanded the case for resentencing, even though the district court judge (Rudolf T. Randa, E.D. Wis) sentenced him to the low end of the guideline range.  All because the judge shot his mouth off at sentencing, making inflammatory comments about Mexico (the defendant's home nation) and using "colorful—and inappropriate—analogies to dispense with arguments that he did not appreciate."  To wit:
Rejecting Figueroa’s wife’s comment that the sentence was unfair, he said that “[i]t reminds me of . . . the person who killed his parents . . . asking [the judge] to have sympathy for him because he’s an orphan.” The judge appears to have been referring to the “classic definition of chutzpa,” LEO ROSTEN, THE JOYS OF YIDDISH 94 (1971), but this is a term that does not apply to a wife’s assertion that her husband’s incarceration will harm the family. Later, the judge discounted Figueroa’s claim that he was a good family man: “even Adolf Hitler was admired by his family. Adolf Hitler loved his dog. Yet he killed six million Jews.”

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