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    Federal Court Sentences Michael Slager to 20 Years for Killing of Walter Scott

    Federal Court Sentences Michael Slager to 20 Years for Killing of Walter Scott

    Slager avoids Federal life sentence, but was sentenced to 20 years

    Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has been sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty to Federal civil rights charges in the April 2015 killing of Walter Scott, reports ABC News and other sources.

    The sentence was based upon Slager’s pleading guilty to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.  The maximum sentence for this offense is life in prison.

    In recent days Federal prosecutors had begun to argue for that maximum sentence, purportedly on the grounds that Slager had begun to publicly waffle on whether he had truly committed the misconduct described in his plea agreement.

    Slager had previously been tried for murder in state court for the killing, but that case resulted in a mistrial when the jury was unable to arrive at a unanimous verdict.  He was scheduled to be re-tried in state court and to also be tried in Federal court on civil rights charges when he abruptly arranged for a plea with Federal prosecutors that effectively resolved both venues.  A conviction on the state murder charge would almost certainly have resulted in a life sentence.

    It is noteworthy that as a Federal sentence it is virtually certain that Slager will serve almost the entirety of the 19-24 years.  Although it is not uncommon for individual states to release convicts after having served as little a third of their sentence, based upon time credited for good behavior while incarcerated, Federal sentences provide little opportunity for such sentence reductions.  Federal time is real time, as they say.

    Legal Insurrection covered the Slager case from the very beginning, as well as periodically over the intervening two-and-a-half years, including:

    Cop Shoots Fleeing Unarmed Black Man, Charged With Murder (April 8, 2015; Andrew Branca)

    Dash Cam Footage of Walter Scott Shooting Released (April 10, 2015; Amy Miller)

    On shooting fleeing suspects (April 11, 2015; neo-neocon)

    Walter Scott Verdict Watch: MISTRIAL DECLARED  (December 5, 2015; William Jacobson)

    Michael Slager Takes Federal Plea In Walter Scott Shooting Death (May 2, 2017; Andrew Branca)

    –-Andrew

    Andrew F. Branca is an attorney and the author of The Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition, and a legal subject matter expert on The Outdoor Channel’s TV show, The Best Defense.

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    Comments



     
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    dawhome | December 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    A cop in jail for 20 years for shooting a black man in the back, might as well be the death penalty, he will be dead in less than a year.


     
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    judgeroybean | December 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    They should subtract a year for every time an innocent policeman was shot in the back by a felon.

    If only Joseph Walker received the support and sympathy that Michael Slager received and is receiving at LI.


       
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      Mac45 in reply to m1. | December 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      If you are speaking of Joseph Walker the NJ parole officer involved in the shooting in maryland, I always felt and stated that Walker was in the right and that he was basically railroaded by the county prosecutor.

      The prosecutor contended that Walker had not exhausted all his options to retreat from the initial confrontation with the two yahoos in the car and therefor was not entitled to use deadly force. I repeated said that the case would boil down to the question of just how far Walker was supposed to drive, while being pursued, before he had reasonably exhausted all avenues of escape. My feeling was that he had driven several miles and to continue the mobile evasion would have eventually led to a crash. I also felt that, Walker’s assailants advanced into a drawn and aimed firearm, they demonstrated a clear intent to cause Walker, and possibly his family, death or great bodily harm.

      Walker was subsequently acquitted and rightfully so.


         
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        Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | December 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

        Pay no attention to the basement troll he posts the same comment on every self defense case. I personally believe that Walker got away with murder because he was a black cop and the DA overcharged.

        Oh, btw both of your “feelings’ are wrong. They drove less than a mile and in fact never made it onto I-97 proper. Also, not even Walker said that Harvey “advanced into a drawn and aimed firearm”. In fact Walker claimed not to have noticed Harvey until Harvey had crossed almost 100 feet of ground to get to where Walker was stopped. Well depending on which version of Walkers’ testimony you choose to believe he may or may not have given a verbal warning. But either way Walker said he did not notice Harvey until he with well with the 21 foot danger zone.

        But it is neither here nor there, he was acquitted by a jury of his peers and that means he is innocent and the jury is right, even when I disagree.


           
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          m1 in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 11, 2017 at 11:37 am

          I guess you forgot my support of the old California man who killed one of his attackers. Even though the broad he shot was fleeing,she still deserve it,because she and her mate shouldn’t have burgled and robbed the old guy.

          I bring up Walker because that case showed the racial double standard in application of deadly force here at LI. Harvey could’ve just driven home ,the same way most of you say Walker could’ve driven away. Harvey chose not to,thus he became a bullet sponge.


           
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          m1 in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

          ” I personally believe that Walker got away with murder because he was a black cop ”

          I knew you were lying when you said that race had nothing to do with your hatred of Walker.

          You finally admit that you believe Walker got away with murder because he’s a black cop.

          I knew all along you, Andrew, Ragspierre, Amy in Fl, JackRussellTerrierist etc. just didn’t like a black cop killing a white person.

          Thank you Gremlin1974 for your honesty.


             
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            Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | December 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

            LOL, do I believe that Joseph Walker got sympathy from the jury for being black and facing a racist asshole who had screamed racial slurs at him. Absolutely. So yes him being black had something to do with him being acquitted.

            Which in no way proves that I or anyone else on this site is racist or was against him just because he was black. In fact I held more against him because he was a cop and should have been able to resolve the issue without having to shoot an unarmed man.

            I also don’t believe or a second that Walker stopped and just ignored Harvey’s truck or the fact that it pulled over, got out and continued to scream and come towards his vehicle and just went and checked his tires, like there wasn’t a threat in the area. I also don’t believe that he confused going over a rumble strip for having a flat. I also don’t believe a cop, was oblivious to the asshat that had been trying to run him off of the road while Harvey advanced almost 100 feet towards him? I also hold it against Walker that he nor his wife called 911. What happened was Walker was going to be a bad ass cop, but when that didn’t work he went into “Oh, Shit!” mode. None of which had a damn thing to do with race.

            See just because you care about skin color doesn’t mean that everyone else does so don’t try to project your bigotry onto me.


         
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        m1 in reply to Mac45. | December 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

        Detective Joseph Walker was a investigator for the Hudson County prosecutors officer. Not a parole officer.


       
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      Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | December 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Oh, looks like the internet in mom’s basement got hooked back up. Now remember she like 2 dryer sheets, not just one.


     
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    Char Char Binks | December 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I supported Walker. I don’t support you.

      I find that very hard to believe. From all the articles Andrew wrote on Walker/Harvey, I don’t recall you leaving a comment defending Walker. If you did,please post it.


         
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        Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | December 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm

        LOL, well once again you show your own unreliability, what Char Char says is true.


         
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        Char Char Binks in reply to m1. | December 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm

        My statement is easily verifiable. I await your apology.

          @Char Char Binks If your statement is easily verifiable you should be able to link one or several.


             
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            Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | December 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm

            Because he isn’t beholden to prove a negative for you. Just like many of these accusations of sexual harassment/misconduct, just because someone says something doesn’t mean that the burden shifts to the accused to prove or disprove the accusation. It is up to the accuser to substantiate their claims. In other words just because someone screams the sky is purple there is no obligation to provide proof that the screamer is incorrect.

            Short version just because a troll makes a BS comment/accusation doesn’t mean Char Char or anyone else is beholden to prove that they didn’t do it.

            P.S. BTW, corroboration is a type of “proof” and I have already backed Char Char. Oh, and the Walker thing is getting old, no one really cares anymore so you might want to get some new material.


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