January 21, 2009

Baby mama's in the club

Today's decision of the WI District I Court of Appeals in State v. Harris (.pdf; 22 pgs.) is guaranteed to provoke a lot of discussion.*

Two judges found overtones of racial discrimination — along with sarcastic and demeaning ones — at the defendant's sentencing hearing, while the third (dissenting) discovered enough substance elsewhere in the proceedings to determine that the "baby mama" references were the product of "frustration," relatively harmless, and not enough to constitute abuse of discretion by the sentencing court.

The dissent also marshals Tina Fey in defense of the sentencing judge. Harris's sentence on cocaine-related offenses is vacated, but the appeals court ordered that he be sentenced one more time.

Better safe than sorry, I reckon.

* As predicted, but from a less likely source: the sentencing judge.
And, as of early afternoon, top of the page at JSOnline.com. Heck, I shoulda been a newspaper editor.

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