Last Friday, a federal judge sentenced former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle to nearly 16 years in prison for receiving child pornography and traveling over state lines to have sex with teenage girls. Prosecutors recommended 12 ½ years for him, so why did a judge give him more?
Sentences for federal crimes are governed by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Passed by Congress in 1984, the idea behind the Guidelines was to promote uniformity and consistency in sentences handed down in federal courts across the United States. In recent years, though, the United States Supreme Court found that it was unconstitutional for Congress to tie the hands of the judiciary as it violates Separation of Powers.
But aside from the guidelines, a federal statute requires judges to impose a sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary.” Some of the factors that a judge must consider in fashioning such a sentence are:
- the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
- to reflect the seriousness of the offense;
- to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
- to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
- to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
While federal prosecutors believed that a 12 ½ year sentence was appropriate for Fogle, his sentencing judge thought that this just wasn’t enough. Commenting that the seriousness of Fogle’s offenses warranted an enhanced sentence, particularly in light of the status which he threw away, the Court decided that a stiffer sentence was also necessary to protect the public from Fogle’s future sex crimes.
Sentencing in federal court is complicated. But with over 20 years of experience, Phoenix criminal defense attorney Jason Lamm has successfully represented dozens of clients in Arizona federal court not just for sex crimes, but also for white collar and drug conspiracy offenses.
If you or someone close to you is being charged with a federal offense and is need of quality representation, contact Jason Lamm at (602) 663-9100. We can help.