Thursday, August 6, 2009

More thoughts on the sentencing ruckus...

I had to read this bit from the Marianas Variety twice:

The defense said that the numerous letters of support and an unsolicited petition with over 600 signatures representing cross-sections of the CNMI is enough to attest to the high respect and esteem the defendants hold in the community.

Because it sounds as if an attorney actually tried to convince the Court that the CNMI community supported Tim Villagomez getting a lenient sentence.

Which was reported by the Tribune like this:

The defense counsel said there were about 600 signatures in support of a motion and petition for the court to hand down a probation sentence or a sentence outside of the guidelines.

Other petitions also were submitted to the court on Tuesday.

Judge Munson asked the defense counsel point blank if the signatures represent a cross section of the community. She said she believes it is but is not sure.

And so we see, there is some hedge there. Not a bald-face lie, just a willing belief in total fiction as truth.

The attitude seems to be: Will this fly? What will you believe? What do you want to hear?

Do those signatures really represent a cross-section of the community?

Hell no.

Just look at the comments made by non-family members at the sentencing. Look at the comments posted at the Variety about the sentencing. Read the blogs and see the comments. Go out and talk with people.

The statement that the 600 signatures believably represent a cross-section of the community appears to have been made by Leilani Lujan.

If you had any credibility, Ms. Lujan, you've just lost lost the last little shred of it.


Anonymous said...

The family can be so proud Tim and Santos let a mother of a minor child, the wife and sister no less, go down to save their own skin. What tough guys...puke...I mean cowards.

Any man, with his minor child facing growing up without parents, would have confessed, apologized, shown remorse, and told the courts that they will cooperate provided the wife is protected. I would have even lied and said my wife was afraid and did whatever I told her.

I will never vote for any beggar writing those lenancy letters for two limp cowards.

Pillars of community...that should make us all take pause...or puke.

cactus said...

What is a "cross-section" of the community supposed to mean in this context? People of various nationalities? Income brackets? Families? Political affiliations? Ages?

It's hard to know how to evaluate the claim to represent a cross-section without a little more information as to what kind of cross-section it purports to be.

Saipan Writer said...

Cactus, I thought of that, even as I wrote this post.

I'm pretty sure a cross-section would be more like a random sample, not just some people in a bunch of different categories.

And alas, when you google to define it you get this: definition, which starts with the basic literal definition and then continues with the applicable definition here:

S: (n) cross section (a section created by a plane cutting a solid perpendicular to its longest axis)
S: (n) cross section (a sample meant to be representative of a whole population)

So the real question is--were those 600 letters representative of the whole population of the CNMI?

I stick by my answer.

At the least, a cross-section would probably include people who didn't vote for you.

There are many ways the attorney could have dealt with the question. Admitting that it wasn't a random sample or even a representative sample of the community, but even so indicated some impressive support...that might have carried more weight.

A little honesty from the defense team would be oh-so refreshing...