Judicial Independence Gets an Angry Challenge in Orange County

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Last December, 20-year old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto was convicted of sodomizing a three-year-old family member in Orange County. The mandatory minimum under state law would be 25 years to life. In a lengthy opinion, Judge Marc Kelly called the crime "serious and despicable" -- but he ruled that 25 years, in this case, would be "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment. Last month, he issued a sentence of ten years instead. That created a national uproar, including Facebook attacks, and death threats against Judge Kelly. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is appealing the sentence, but the County Supervisors have joined demands for a recall election.

Credits

Guests:
James P. Gray - Superior Court of Orange County (retired), Todd Spitzer - Orange County Board of Supervisors

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Christine Detz, Evan George