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Letter: Ask the prosecutor to get the whole story

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to questions raised by Richard Hill in your Feb. 20 edition, “Why all the suspended sentences?” Judges throughout the Commonwealth, and our nation, suspend sentences (in whole or in part) as one tool in the criminal justice system because suspended sentences involve a period of probation during which the sentence can be imposed if the defendant violates probation. Just because a portion of a sentence is suspended does not mean that a defendant received a lenient sentence. What must be determined is whether the punishment imposed is appropriate in a case based upon the facts of the particular case. The reason sentences are so similar in Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex counties is because we normally have the same District Court judges and Circuit Court judges serving these three counties and, therefore, the sentencing is consistent from county to county.

I am frequently asked questions about cases ...

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