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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP   PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION LAWYERS

Issaquah Law Group - Injury Litigation Attorneys

TRUST: Personal injuries are personal. Which is why the attorneys at ILG treat every client and every case differently. Because they are different, and extremely personal. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built on trust. Trust that you will be heard. Trust that you will be protected. Trust that every effort will be made to see justice done in your case. The singular goal of every ILG attorney is to earn and preserve that trust.

EXPERIENCE: ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals and we bring this experience to bear on behalf of our clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents, bus versus pedestrian accidents, defective and dangerous products, medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall accidents, and catastrophic losses due to fire.

LOCATION: We are located on the Eastside in Issaquah, convenient to Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Renton, Sammamish and North Bend. However, we provide legal services in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and throughout the entire state of Washington.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Division II: Sign Holding Not Proper Punishment for Thief under the Sentencing Reform Act

State v. Button

Washington state does not give its judges the same leeway the judges and other states get. For our judges to impose a sentence, there has to be some statutory authority to do so. Our statutes allow things like community custody, jail time, probation, etc.

This case involves a woman to it embezzled funds from a booster club. The judge requested she hold the sign that said, “I stole from kids.” But the prosecutor and the defense attorney recognize that there is no authority for this. Though the parties agreed, the judge still summoned button back into court to determine why she did not comply with this. He then gave her more time in jail and still ordered her to display the side.

The courts do have the leeway to impose conditions on people as part of their sentence, but those conditions must be related to their crimes. For instance, hackers often cannot use computers. However, the judge oversteps their bounds when they coerce the defendant to do things for purposes of rehabilitation. Any affirmative condition must be authorized by the Sentencing Reform Act. “Persons may be punished for their crimes and they may be prohibited from doing things which are directly related to their crimes, but they may not be coerced into doing things which are believed will rehabilitate them."

Here, the Sentencing Reform Act does not authorize affirmative acts in relation to first-degree theft.

Now, here is the interesting question to me. What if Button decided to enter a plea agreement where she held the sign in lieu of a portion of her sentence? Would this still be subject to the Sentencing Perform Act requirements?

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