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Former Police Officers Get Jail Time for Post-Katrina Shootings

Five ex-officers from the New Orleans Police Department found themselves on the other side of the law Wednesday, as they were sentenced to jail for their respective roles in the shootings of six unarmed civilians in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. –KA

The New York Times:

The four policemen who were directly involved in the shootings were sentenced to terms ranging from 38 to 65 years, and a police sergeant who was overseeing an investigation into the shootings, and instead led the efforts to hide and distort what happened, was sentenced to six years.

But while the sentences were long, they were not nearly as long as federal prosecutors were seeking — in some cases less than a third of the sentence they recommended — and for the most part were either the mandatory minimum or several years more than the minimum.

Before delivering the sentences, Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana gave a lengthy speech condemning the concept of mandatory minimum sentences and disparaging the case put together by federal prosecutors, saying in particular that he was “astonished” and “deeply troubled” by the plea deals with four cooperating witnesses at the heart of the case.

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