According to this article here the remaining trials in the Blanding Utah case are to be scheduled in early 2010.
Two defendants have already pled guilty in this case. Jerrica Redd and her mother Jeanne Redd were given probation and minimal fines for their crimes. Hardly seems worth the effort of a 2 year investigation for the punishment they received, even more so since this is not the first conviction on the same offense for Jeanne Redd. She pled to a lesser offense and was fined $10,000 in 2003 for the same crime. (Apparently this time she is repentant, and the judge is confident it won't happen again. Right!)
Judge Waddops reason for the light sentence?
"This is a community where this kind of conduct" is commonly tolerated and "has been justified for a number of years," Waddoups said. "This is a woman who has spent her life as a member of her community."
"prosecution in this case provides sufficient deterrence," the judge said.
I disagree. The sentences imposed so far don't even amount to a slap on the wrist, let alone a deterrant. Each of the 7 felonies Jeanne Redd pled guilty to carried a potential $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison yet she received 3 years probation and a $2000 fine. Jerrica received 2 years probation and a $300 fine.
With the remaining trials coming up, lets hope the judge(s) treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve. It's time to show that just because "it's always been done" doesn't mean the law will continue to turn a blind eye to it. It's time to show that looting is a crime that will not be tolerated and will be fully prosecuted.