Sentencing Abuse Alleged By Judge, With Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

A federal judge is alleging that abuses are occurring during sentencing and in his view, that too often the might and power of the federal government charges inappropriately, meaning the charges are so severe, the defendant faces a long sentence if they lose, making the defendant plead out instead of going to trial.

Retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman, of Santa Clara, California, says that this federal judge has been a judge for 22 years and the fact that he's a federal judge, which means that he's one for life and doesn't have to face elections, probably made him more inclined to make a comment suggesting a local prosecutor is inappropriately charging in such a way that makes the defendant plead guilty rather than taking a chance to go trial. 

Hyman says there's always potential for abuse and the purpose of the first amendment is for the media and organizations to examine the conduct of our officials, regardless of the branch of government.  With respect to prosecutors, whether federal or state, there isn't a review organization, just a court of appeals to review in terms of error. 

This federal judge believes the system is broken in his view and feels potentially there needs to be safeguards, as the judge can't provide them, Hyman says. 

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.  For more information on the article in the Wall Street Journal, click here.