Assuming Mayo is found guilty at trial, what would you recommend as an appropriate sentence for Mayo? Please answer this question from both positions of being the prosecutor and the defense attorney representing Mayo. Discuss why and make sure to support your thoughts.
As the prosecutor I would have prosecuted Mr. Mayo as committing voluntary manslaughter. So if he was found guilty I would recommend 5 years. In Virginia this crime is a class 5 felony and therefore a conviction of 1-10 years. Or a jury/court has the discretion to lessen the penalty to up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. (“VA Homocide laws | Murder & manslaughter charges,” 2019) the reason I would go with 5 years is why as the prosecutor I’m charging him because I think he is guilty I do realize that it was done in passion during an argument so I don’t think the max punishment is necessarily.
As the defense attorney I would be perusing a sentence of up to 12 months due to the nature of the incident. That while my client did kill Mr. Scowen he did because of being in fear for his life and therefore is not safety concern to the public at large. Therefore there is no reason to incarcerate him for an extended period of time. I would try to get a light sentence and time served as I will assume he has been in jail for a least 6 months awaiting trial. I know people can be in jail shorter or longer while they are awaiting their trial and sentencing.
Question 2: Would there be a mandatory-minimum sentence at issue in this case? Discuss why.
No, in Virginia while it states that offender convicted of manslaughter serves 1-10 years, it also states it can be lessened by the court at their discretion.
Question 3: Are there any appealable issue for Mayo’s attorney to file?
I would say yes depending on what testimonies were presented to the jury.
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