Why Suspend Two Years Off the Sentence and Then Lament About It?

by jhwygirl

Let me first say I really enjoy Perry Backus’ writing style. Very straightforward. Some readers of the Ravalli Republic don’t like it, which is exhibited sometimes in the comments – but because someone doesn’t like the facts doesn’t make him wrong for writing them. This piece doesn’t show that – wife-beaters rarely get people defending them, at least in public – but I read his other stuff (particularly zoning stuff) and boy do people hate the facts when they don’t like the facts.

Read the piece. The guy is – I’m going to be economic with my words here – an asshole. He’s been convicted SIX times for domestic abuse. He doesn’t pay his child support. He’s a drunk. He has a long criminal history.

On Wednesday, Judge Langton sentenced asshole Ronald G. Moore to 5 years with 2 suspended and then proceeded to lament about the shortness of the sentence, noting that state law maximum for the crime was 5 years.

Warning: I’m going to yell…


Now – the story mentions a plea bargain, and goes on to interview Ravalli County Prosecutor Bill Fulbright who, too, said he ‘wishes the county could have asked for more.’


Plea the case – no reason is noted in the story – to maximum sentence with 2 years suspended, and then complain about the sentence?


Now – clearly there is an issue with the sentencing maximums of 5 years for domestic abuse….but why in the hell would both the prosecutor and the judge – both of whom had a certain level of control over the sentencing – suspend the 2 years?

Judge Langton is not bound to take any plea agreement. It’s his courtroom. Hell – he could have not only sentenced the guy to 5 years, he could have chastised the county prosecutor for recommending that 2 of ’em be suspended.

The guy beat her. Bit her bad enough to draw blood, and then sliced up the mattress she was laying on with a knife. And he did something like it 5 times before. He’s only 33.

Yeah – just the type of guy you wanna get back out on the streets just a little bit sooner.

Langton does have a pretty good track record of light sentences, especially for repeat offenders, along with suspension of portions of those light sentences.

Hopefully Ravalli County residents remember that the next time Langton is on the ballot.

The Missoulian reprinted the story. Both the RR and the M have a decent number of comments. I’m noticing more comments on the Missoulian, which is nice.

  1. maybe they will put a female bear in his cell for a few hours….say around 400-450lbs???

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