Friday, November 03, 2006

Follow up; according to the Omaha World Herald, candidates for Douglas County Attorney are exchanging war stories of who committed bigger snafus. In State v Alba the Supreme Court said the Prosecutor's error led to a child sex predator's plea bargain to Class IV instead of Class II Each candidate had his share of dropped balls, and big city ennui as to street crime. The Alba case stands out because all the sides missed the effective date of the pertinent statutes. The world herald comments: Peter J. Alba case: Mark Rhodes, Dornan's former chief criminal prosecutor, agreed in 2004 to a plea bargain, allowing a convicted sex offender to plead to two counts of sexual assault of a child. Rhodes thought that the counts were punishable by up to 50 years in prison. However, sexual assault on a child carries a maximum term of 20 months to five years in prison. An appeals court overturned Alba's 15- to 25-year sentence. He was sentenced instead to 20 months to five years in prison on each count. (The Supreme court agreed with the Court of appeals that the sentence was excessive but refused to vacate the guilty plea.) Dornan noted that the judge and defense attorney also misunderstood the punishment. He said he will seek to place Alba under parole supervision after Alba's release.

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