Monday, April 13, 2015

No Sentencing Relief for Mentally Ill Man in Gun Case

U.S. v. Chapman, 2015 WL 427547 (2/3/15) (Col.) (unpub'd) - At the age of 7, Mr. Chapman witnessed a gang rape and murder his mom. Mental health issues and convictions ensued. When he moved from California to Denver, he ran out of psych medication because of a delay in getting an appointment with a mental health agency. He began having hallucinations and then acted erratically, drawing the attention of officers who found him in possession of a gun. His guideline range was 51 to 63 months. At sentencing the district court said: "If I were a judge in a different country, in the European Union, I would be able to sentence this man to treatment in a hospital, which is where he should be. I couldn't go to sleep worrying about this case." In the good ol' USA, the judge sent Mr. Chapman to prison for 46 months. This was a substantively reasonable sentence in deference to the lower court, the 10th rules.