I’m just going by news reports, of course.
Based on those my understanding was that the government was asking for 10 years consecutive, meaning that she would serve the 10 years after the state sentence was completed. If she served the state maximum of 4 years that would translate into a total of 14 years.
Judge Larimer took 2 years off the government’s position and made the sentence concurrent, meaning that she’ll be serving her state and federal sentences at the same time, for a maximum of 8 years.
In the world of criminal sentencing, this is a considerably more lenient sentence than the government was asking for, and I have to give Judge Larimer credit for bringing a little, a tiny little bit, modicum, sliver of perspective in handing out his sentence. It is still way too much for what she actually did, even assuming it’s all true. Which I doubt.
It’s still very troubling that there isn’t one single living person in the chain of causation besides Dawn Nguyen that is suffering any consequences at all, even though there’s an abundance of candidates. How is it that a 21 year old woman is singled out for 8 years but the parole board members who released Spengler don’t miss so much as a paycheck?
It’s so disproportionate. Disproportionate based on the nature of the act being punished (signing a form), disproportionate given the nature of the defendant – a young and evidently productive citizen with no criminal history – and disproportionate given that there are many others with a very similar, if not greater, level of culpability who have not even been prosecuted, let alone imprisoned.
More fundamentally, turning someone like that into an arbitrarily selected scapegoat that the angry mob vents their anger onto is unspeakably cruel. Not as cruel as what Spengler did, but I don’t see how adding to the cruelty helps anyone or anything.