I'm back in Saipan from vacation. Sentencing of Tim Villagomez and James and Joaquina Santos occurred on my first day back, but I didn't attend. Just stopped by to get the news (after the morning session, before Joaquina's sentence).
Wendy has two great posts that deal with all the details.
My two cents:
* I thought in the end that Mr. Santos would step forward and plead for leniency for his wife, and take some of the blame. I'm sorry I was wrong on that score. (I sincerely feel sorry for their daughter.)
* The jail time is less than the 10 years asked for, but still hefty. 7 1/4 years for Tim; 6 1/2 years for each of Mr. and Mrs. Santos. Even with time off for good behavior, these people face serious loss of liberty for their crimes. From my point of view, this is a good balance--serious time for serious crime, but not the maximum allowable, some mercy and some consideration of first time offender-status.
* Only Mr. and Mrs. Santos were fined. I believe Tim avoided this because of his lack of income and resources. And that just makes me wonder--how could a man with a steady stream of high-paying jobs end up with nothing? What did he do with his money? While it was his, he could do whatever he wanted (including buying the boat, and running for elected office)-it's none of my business. But I'm curious. How does an intelligent, income-earning man end up with nothing?
* As for the message to others here? I doubt this will make much difference. Look at New Jersey, Chicago, Louisiana, Ohio.