A Portland, Oregon man pleaded guilty to bank robbery on Monday. The circumstances of this crime are a bit unusual. Immediately after the robbery, the bank robber drove to the nearest police station where he gave the police the money, the gun and then confessed to the crime. Here is what we know: Ray Knudson robbed a Bank of America branch in April. He told police that he was moved to rob the bank after watching the TV show “Inside Job.” Knudson told police that he had been struggling economically (Portland is still having bad times. Unemployment is in the double digits, and home foreclosures are commonplace.)
How Did the Officers React to the Confession?
I try to picture how the officers reacted. Surprised? Certainly. Did they remember to advise him of his Miranda rights? Did they use those special CSI gloves when he handed them the gun? Was he handcuffed, since he was forthcoming? You can see why this case is interesting to a criminal defense lawyer.
Acknowledgement of Responsibility = Key Element in Federal Sentencing
Sentencing judges will reduce prison time for those who cooperate with police. Mr. Knudson will be sentenced in a few months, and it will be interesting to see what the judge does with his sentence. Mr. Knudson was so honest about his involvement that he will get less (if any) prison time than most others accused of bank robbery. Acknowlegement of responsibility is a key element in every federal sentencing. If a federal defendant acknowledges their involvement in a crime, and if they provide “substantial” cooperation with law enforcement agents, then they get a type of credit against their sentence called “reduction for acceptance of responsibility.”
Sentencing Is About Trust
If a judge trusts someone, he/she will likely give that person a sentence that is not as restrictive and has fewer conditions. We trust people who admit their mistakes, and often, a confession, while problematic for the defense lawyer before a plea, can be a defendant’s best friend at sentencing.
Colorado criminal defense attorney Shaun Kaufman cares about each client who goes to sentencing, and he applies his knowledge of how judges think and rule to help each client. It took Shaun decades of being in and around courtrooms to learn this. If you need a lawyer for a difficult criminal case, contact Shaun Kaufman Law, P.C., who is available to talk to you 24/7, 365 days of the year.
To contact Shaun Kaufman Law, use the contact form on the right of this page or call 303-309-0430.
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