The original sentencing recommendation of 7-9 years for Trump associate Roger Stone was not only "outrageous," it was also "immoral" and "utterly irresponsible" of the now-resigned prosecutors to advocate for something so extreme, legal expert Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV.
"The sentence [recommendation] in this case was outrageously high, utterly irresponsible," Dershowitz emphatically told "Newsmax Now" in an interview on Wednesday. "And the prosecutors who recommended 7-9 years, I think the country is in better shape with them not being in the Justice Department than being in the Justice Department."
Dershowitz reminded viewers during his interview that Stone is a non-violent, first-time offender. A sentence of such extreme length would amount to "life imprisonment" for a man his age (67), Dershowitz said.
Attorney General William Barr "absolutely did the right thing" by stepping in to call for less time, Dershowitz told host John Bachman.
"A sentence of like a year or two would be far more appropriate in this case," Dershowitz said, adding that is the likely sentence Stone would have gotten with a guilty plea.
"Instead, he pleads not guilty and he gets what's called a trial penalty, an additional five or so years – not for any crime, but for the 'sin' of actually going to trial," Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz, who recently found himself back in a white-hot spotlight for assisting President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team, said of the Stone dust-up: "Maybe this will alert the public to the horrible injustices going on every day in our justice system."
As for any blowback against Justice or Barr, whose involvement came after Trump was critical of the proposed Stone sentence, Dershowitz emphasized that the president has constitutional authority to direct the Department of Justice to change its sentencing recommendations.
"That's his power," Dershowitz said, adding that though the president says he didn't order Justice to change course on Stone, "he certainly has the right to express his views."
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