Recently, an appellate court ruled that jurors cannot impact sentencing after finding a defendant guilty. According to the panel, “a judge may not consider for sentencing purposes any comments from a deliberating juror… Consequently, deliberating jurors are not permitted to participate at a defendant’s sentencing proceeding.”
In the case under discussion, a New Jersey man was accused of shooting and killing his father back in 2007. The defendant, John Mahoney, claimed that his father had verbally and physically abused him throughout his life, but the prosecutor argued that Mahoney was an entitled and aggressive individual who was angry at the strict rules put in place by his father.
Ultimately, the jurors were not persuaded by the claim that Mahoney was a battered child and convicted him of aggravated manslaughter in early 2015. However, two of the jurors wrote to the judge emphasizing how difficult the jury deliberations had been and asking for leniency in Mahoney’s sentencing. They felt that Mahoney would be better served by receiving therapy rather than a prison sentence. However, the court ultimately denied the jury’s request. The appellate judge panel held that “jurors are judges of the facts…the jurors’ service is complete upon the return of a verdict.”
If you or a loved one was recently charged with a crime in New Jersey, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who will defend your constitutional rights and fight to have your charges lowered or dismissed outright. E-mail or call today at 888-815-3649.