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Sentencing Review – Factors – Youthfulness of Defendant

State v. Lonnie C. Davis, 2005 WI App 98
For Davis: Pamela Moorshead

Issue: Whether the sentencing court erroneously exercised discretion by failing to consider the defendant’s youthfulness (14 years 9 months) at the time he committed the sexual assaults.

Holding:

¶16      A review of the sentencing transcript demonstrates that the trial court did not erroneously exercise its discretion when it sentenced Davis ….

¶17      … It is clear from the record that the trial court was aware of Davis’s young age, but that the youth factor did not operate to significantly mitigate the appropriate sentence.  This did not render the trial court’s decision erroneous.

¶18      The trial court is not required to consider a defendant’s age because it is a secondary factor; moreover, even if age is addressed, the trial court determines whether it should carry any weight….

¶19      … Clearly, the trial court determined that the three primary factors outweighed any mitigating effect that the young age may have offered.  This did not constitute an erroneous exercise of discretion.

Nor was the sentence cruel and unusual within the 8th amendment, the test being much the same as for an excessive sentence, ¶¶20-23 (10 years’ consecutive on each of 4 sexual assault counts not “shocking” where crimes were “horrendous,” lack of remorse “detestable,” and harm to victim severe and on-going).

 

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