A Trend Toward Reduced Sentences Even for Horrific Crimes

"Matthew Durham and Maurice Rivas, both of Lynnwood, were originally sentenced to roughly 26 years in prison for their part in the 2002 murder of Burkheimer, 18, of Marysville. ... Deputy prosecutor Julie Mohr and defense attorney Jeffrey Ellis presented an agreed recommendation that the judge shorten the sentences of Durham and Rivas to 20 years.” Click >> HERE << to read the original article.

In case you haven’t been following along, there have been a string of sentence reductions in some cases of quite horrific crimes because of the trendy idea that criminals "in late adolescence or early adulthood deserve more leniency because their brains are still developing."

This notion runs contrary to the simultaneous push to allow children to make important life decisions without parental consent at younger and younger ages.

While the details of each case are unique, in general as your prosecutor I would argue that the defendants should continue serving their original sentences. If the judge decides to reduce a sentence it would be up to the judge to explain the rationale to victims and to voters.

My heart goes out to the Burkheimer family.

Brett Rogers

for Snohomish County Prosecutor (R)


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