In­struc­tive rule

Los Angeles Times - - Calendar - Michael E. White Anna Roberts


IN his col­umn about press cov­er­age of Paris Hil­ton [“Paris Isn’t the Only One Guilty,” May 12], Tim Rut­ten faulted the main­stream press for not point­ing out that “the Amer­i­can crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem does not pun­ish one per­son to in­struct oth­ers.” Any­one who has ob­served the crim­i­nal courts in L.A. has seen pun­ish­ments meted out for this rea­son on many oc­ca­sions. The Cal­i­for­nia Rules of Court that guide judges in fash­ion­ing sen­tences state, in Rule 4.410, that one of the “gen­eral ob­jec­tives in sen­tenc­ing” is “de­ter­ring oth­ers from crim­i­nal con­duct by demon­strat­ing its con­se­quences.”

This ob­jec­tive has been ques­tioned by many as in­ef­fec­tive, but the rule is used reg­u­larly on cases that don’t make head­lines.

Los An­ge­les

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