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by Peter Moskos

December 16, 2009

Cops shoot bad guys with guns

Mostly I just like the headline.

But as usual, Peter Hermann has interesting things to say. Particularly about suspended sentences. That's the crazy concept where you do a crime, get caught, get convicted, get sentenced, and then don't serve time. Not even in theory.
Guest, when was 15, he shot another youth in the head and pleaded guilty, but spent just under five years in prison. Guest [now 32] died later at a hospital [after being shot by police].

Guest had a convoluted series of prison stints. In 1994, a judge delayed imposing a 13 year sentence for the murder and instead put him away for three years for a handgun violation to give him a break. He served one year for the gun but in 1999 he got arrested on a drug distribution charge. Another judge then reimposed the 13 year sentence for the killing and folded an 8 year term for the drugs into that. The judge suspended four years, meaning Guest's total sentence was nine years. He got out after serving 4 and a half years because of credits earned while incarcerated. Later, he got sentenced to another three years on a drug conviction but was out in one.

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