Saturday, January 30, 2016

Judge Regrets Sending Veteran to Prison

With regret, judge gives veteran 6 years for home invasion
Edith Brady-Lunny 1 hr ago
Saying he appreciated the state's willingness to support the minimum sentence of six years, Luckman said "I wish our legislature had shown the same thoughtfulness."
BLOOMINGTON — Thanking an Iraq War veteran for his service and bravery, a McLean County judge expressed regret that no sentencing option other than prison existed before giving him a six-year term for home invasion.

Lawyers for Sam Siatta spent Friday afternoon arguing the psychological aftermath of his service with the Marines in Afghanistan was behind his out-of- control conduct in April 2014. Siatta, 26, of Diamond, a small town near Joliet, was convicted in November of breaking into a man's home in Normal and hitting the man with a frying pan. Siatta was stabbed nine times by the victim during the altercation.

The situation Siatta and other veterans find themselves in was not contemplated by lawmakers when they approved a mandatory prison term of six to 30 years for home invasion, said defense lawyer Kerry Luckman.

"This is an issue we are going to be dealing with more with the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan," said Luckman.

In his brief comments to Judge Scott Drazewski, Siatta apologized to the victim. He said he has no memory of the incident that occurred while he was a student at Illinois State University.

With day-for-day good time credit, Siatta will serve about three years of the sentence.
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