Can a judge give a sentence based on whether the accused is going to appeal the decision?

A friend was convicted of stealing from her company, (no jury, just a judge)She had bountiful evidence showing her innocence but the judge did not bother to look at it. The defendants attorney said he was going to appeal the verdict.At the sentencing, the judge issued a statement saying if the defendant appeals the verdict the sentence would be 7 years in prison, plus restitution ($40,000). Or accept the verdict and be sentenced to 30 days in local jail, the parole, and pay restitution Is this a legal sentence?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Missouri


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A Judge has the authority to sentence a convicted defendant so long as it is withing the statutory guidelines based upon 1) the offense committed, 2) the defendant's criminal history (if any), 3) Various factors in sentencing guideline scoring (if applicable). Thus, a Judge can sentence  a person to the maximum penalty, minimum penalty, or somewhere in between. A judge should not take a person's desire to appeal into consideration because that is done through a separate court other than the Judge who imposed the sentence.

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