sentencing

Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

With federal prisons already more than 30 percent beyond their designed capacity, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons, an unlikely group of U.S. senators has come together to try to give federal judges more discretion in sentencing nonviolent drug offenders.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., are joining up with U.S. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas. When the group held a joint news conference last week, they joked and laughed, “There isn’t a moderate here, on either side.” 

photo of Barack Obama
Pete Souza | White House | 2010 photo

You can be just or you can be merciful but it’s damned hard to be both simultaneously. Barack Obama may have pulled off that difficult trick when he recently commuted the sentences of eight people serving extended time for crack cocaine violations.

Perhaps moved by the holiday spirit, the president exercised his constitutional authority to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States” and released the federally imprisoned octet in time for its members to be home for Christmas.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the murder conviction for Gregory Bowman, but reversed the sentence that put him on death row.

The court ruled today that St. Louis County jurors should not have heard about Bowman's two prior murder convictions during sentencing because those convictions were overturned.

(St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office)

Updated at 5:00 p.m. March 10, 2011 with additional comments.

Former Sunset Hills police officer Christine Miller received her sentence today for the 2009 drunk driving accident that killed four people.

Miller was sentenced today after pleading guilty to all five counts against her in December 2010. She faced 4 counts for involuntary manslaughter and 1 for second-degree assault.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

In November 2010, James Allen Morgan, a former St. Louis city liquor control officer, plead guilty to bribery charges. Today, Morgan found out just how he'll be punished.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Morgan received the following sentence:

  • Five months in prison
  • Five months home confinement
  • Two years of supervised release

And what was Morgan's crime?

UPDATED 4:10 Dec. 15, 2010 with comments from Richard Callahan and sentencing:

In court on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that Shade stopped cooperating last January. They found out about it as they were preparing to take Gregory P. Shepard, the manager at St. Louis Metropolitan Towing, to trial. It was Shade's testimony that helped indict and convict Shepard.