Getting it right: Would prison have made sense in this case?

We suspect that very few of our readers in the Bay Area or elsewhere across California would harbor any discontent regarding the sentencing outcome recently announced by a federal judge in a bank robbery case from another state. We relate the material details immediately below.

To wit: A described “remorseful” senior citizen — a man agreed by all legal principals in his case to be a dutiful husband and conscientious father with no prior criminal record — robbed a bank.

The term “rob” might actually be an inapt description for what happened at that institution. In fact, the man never left the bank after getting a small bag of money. He just sat down and waited to be arrested. He had no weapon and offered no resistance. In fact, he wanted to be apprehended.

Evidence that subsequently emerged in the matter pointed squarely to medical factors that prompted the man’s actions. Among other things, he had undergone major bypass heart surgery that led to an undiagnosed depression.

Authorities clearly took that to mind, with the man’s legal defense team ensuring that the singular facts of the matter were clearly conveyed to the court. Judicial discretion properly ensued following due consideration of all the facts and agreement from prosecutors that leniency was warranted in the matter.

The result of that discretion yielded a brief term of home confinement along with supervised probation, a small fine and community service. And, importantly, the man has reportedly progressed materially after receiving necessary medical treatment.

We submit that most people would view that outcome with satisfaction, finding that it far more approximates justice than would have a term of incarceration in a federal prison.

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