In Sentencing, Just What Did the Judge Say: 3 Years, or 2?

August 8, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — Jerry Herrington spent about a year trying to convince anyone who would listen that the court system had made a terrible mistake: even though court records had him down for a three-year sentence, he was sure that the judge in Manhattan had given him only two years.  He told court officers, prison officials, counselors and a minister, among others, that there was an error. But each time, he said, he got the same answer: The computer showed that he had been sentenced to three years. The only way to prove otherwise, Mr. Herrington said he was told, was to get a copy of the transcript of his sentencing hearing.  Mr. Herrington did not get the transcript until around the time of his release in July 2008, after he had served three years. Lo and behold, the transcript, which a prison official obtained for Mr. Herrington, quoted Justice Brenda Soloff as delivering a two-year sentence.

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