View Full Version : What to say at sentencing?

08-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Hi as I'm sure some of you know that my husband will be sentenced Sept. 30th...and I know alot of people say that judges have their minds made up before they even walk through the door I'm a pretty firm believer in that myself but I can't go in there and not say anything to try to make a difference. So I am wondering what do you think would be the appropriate things to talk about? I want to have an idea in my head of what to say and right now i'm drawing blanks, all I can picture is me throwing myself across the witness stand , sobbing like a wild woman, and begging for him to come home! :eek:... But all that would do is put me at the womans facility next door to him! any words of encouragement! Bring it on!! His attorney...who is the worst defender i have ever since in my life!! says that anyone and everyone can get on the stand that day so we are likely to have a bunch but everyone says that they think my statement will matter the most if any! So let me know what you guys think!

08-27-2010, 07:09 PM
I am in the same boat with you, I just want to cry and beg, explain why I NEED him and I am only half a person here, living in this horrble world, with half of myself locked away.. any advice would be great!

08-27-2010, 08:32 PM
Don't know. Haven't talked to our attorney about whether or not I should be a witness at my husband's sentencing.

If I were, I would probably talk/reiterate the things that I feel will help the judge to see that he is a good man who just did something stupid. I would talk about our plans for his work after release, where he'll live, and what we will do together and what he will do individually to insure this won't happen again. I would do my best to get the judge to understand that not only did my husband just do something stupid, he's completely changed everything about himself since being incarcerated, and I would explain the support system we have in place to help him succeed after jail/prison.

I may be tempted to say that I miss my guy very much, but honestly, I would try to keep that and my emotions in check. The judge knows I miss my guy and I honestly don't think a bunch of tears will help persuade a judge. Having a well thought through plan would be a better chance in my opinion.

Those are just my preliminary thoughts. I haven't talked to our lawyer about all this though, so I can't really say from a legal perspective what a Significant Other should or shouldn't say.

08-27-2010, 08:52 PM
For what it's worth, I don't think you'll be allowed to say anything in court, unless the attorney asks the Judge if you can be heard. At the same time, I don't believe most Judges have their minds made up before they enter the court room. I believe they look closely at the PSR, but I also think they listen carefully to both attorneys. I really believe it's not predetermined. But letters will help as well, and then perhaps the lawyer can ask the Judge if you can be heard. I wish you all the best of luck. At my sentencing the Judge made reference to the letters, stated that he read them, but did not allow any family members to speak.

08-27-2010, 09:06 PM
I spoke at my baby's sentencing and i can't even tell you what i said lol -- i wrote a letter and that was the biggest part of my "speaking" and then basicaly the speaking was to give the judge a face w/the letter!
I don't believe all judge's have their minds made up before sentencing! i know in my baby's case there was no way he did! Cuz the prosicuting da -- had told the judge something bout my baby by saying if he can convince you he would change and has changed since the arrest would you sentence him with what they are asking? and the judge then turned to the prosicuting da and said if he can convince you of this will you object if i give them what they are asking for and he said no he wouldn't object -- so then they had my baby speak before they sentenced him -- he had requested to speak AFTER he'd be sentenced because he wanted everyone to know that his speaking was from his heart and not to be anything to just get him a lesser sentence! The judge deffinately read all letters that were submitted to him as he refered to them all and brought them all up and even looked thru to make sure he remembered reading them ALL! ( i mention that as some feel that judges do not even read them but they do) Speaking should be very short by loved ones -- i prolly spoke for less then2 mins possibly only 1 min -- but like i had mentioned i did write a letter first. i did talk bout how i am here for him now and will be when he get's out , and that he'll have a good support system with me--- also mentioning the support system that he is for me (this was also mentioned more in depth in the letter i had wrote) Showing how you are both good for each other i guess is something good -- and if he's a father things he's done for the kids and is continuing to do while away -- this type of stuff

08-27-2010, 09:45 PM
What we did for my husband's sentencing. I had people write to the judge before sentencing which really helped to let the judge know what he is about, because they only c what's on paper's not what type of person they are. The judge had mentioned that when he looked at my husband's past he thought the worst of him then when he read the letters he saw a different view of what type of person my husband was. I also wrote a letter and read it to the judge at sentencing and we also had about 15 people at the hearing which just shows support. Hope that helps.

08-28-2010, 12:31 AM
All letters written to the judge for sentencing should be given to the defense lawyer to review before they go to the judge.

08-28-2010, 06:09 AM
The above is absolutely true and please don't anyone send any correspondence directly to the Judge. The defense attorney, as Zelda said, must review all letters. My lawyer told us that you don't ask the Judge to NOT put someone in prison. What I think is important from the letters that I had, which I believe were extremely helpful, were to articulate to the Judge the changes the person made during the process, what is different about him/her now, and why this person won't be standing before Your Honor anytime in the future.

09-01-2010, 07:38 PM
I know that when my husband was waiting to be sentenced, his attorney told me that I could write a letter to the judge. I had the kids write one each and I wrote one. We got them to the judge before sentencing so he had the chance to read them.

I wrote about how I know that my husband did something wrong and that he is incredibly sorry about it. I let the judge know that my husband is NOT a bad guy and that he just did something stupid. I gave examples of the things that he does that are good, such as helping strangers when they needed a tow or a tire changed. My husband is also very sick with a lot of medical problems, so I let the judge know about that.

Speak from your heart. Whether or not what you say has any influence on what the judge decides isn't really the issue, but rather you will feel better that you tried.

Good luck!