The four defendants in the 2004 Election Day tire-slashing case all received jail terms ranging from four to six months, however, under state law and Milwaukee County jail policies, they may serve considerably less than that. And, although hit with a $1,000 fine each, the four men -- Sowande Omokunde, son of Democratic**** U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore; Michael Pratt, son of former Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt; Lewis Caldwell; and Lavelle Mohammad -- will likely shell out more than that.
During sentencing, Judge Michael Brennan said the four committed acts of voter suppression and civil rights violations. He said jail time was warranted and that he wanted the case to be a public example of what could happen if you interfere with voters rights.
See WisPolitics coverage of the sentencing.
Milwaukee County Assistant DA David Feiss said he was pleased with, and not surprised by Brennans decision and added that the judge explained his reasoning behind the decision well. Feiss noted that, by pleading to misdemeanors, the four received the benefit of not having felonies on their records and a shorter maximum sentence.
Mastantuono noted that having the clients do community service would be better for the public and it would be more than a slap on the wrist. For those that see it as light punishment, I challenge those people to work for a job for free, Mastantuono said.
Mastantuono agreed the judge was well within his authority to impose the sentence, and unless there was some type of error or abuse by the judge, there is no basis for appeal. Mastantuono said he is looking into appellate issues, but has made no decision to go forward, and noted that Caldwell said he was ready to accept responsibility at sentencing.
Under state law, the defendants are entitled to good time sentence reductions, which take one-quarter off the top of their sentences. In addition, the Milwaukee House of Corrections shortens sentences by five days for each month served, provided inmates maintain good behavior.
The judge hasnt prohibited eligibility for in-home electronic monitoring. An HOC staffer said consideration for in-home detention is made by the jail and depends upon the length of the sentence and the severity of the crime.
Good catch, as always! :)