Defendant’s Smile Earns Him an Extra Six Months in Prison

Posted by Pamela A. Crowther, Esquire on 3 July 2012

In court for sentencing after being convicted of assaulting the mother of his children, White Twin was facing up to 78 months in prison plus three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann of the District of South Dakota then noticed Twin was smiling at the sentencing. Finding a lack of humor in the proceedings, Judge Kornmann noted for the record that the defendant was smiling and then added six more months to the defendant’s prison sentence. The Eighth Circuit upheld Judge Kornmann’s upward sentencing departure on June 27, 2012, noting that the district court has discretion to increase its sentence under four guidelines, including criminal history, inadequacy, extreme psychological injury for the victim, extreme conduct, and dismissed and uncharged conduct.


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