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Opening Arguments

Time served

A tale of two sentences. Is this one too lenient?

INDIANAPOLIS — A judge gave a 53-year prison sentence to a man convicted of shooting a pregnant teller during a bank robbery and causing the deaths of her unborn twins.

The April 2008 shooting led to a change in state law increasing the prison term for anyone who murders or attempts to murder a pregnant woman and causes the loss of her unborn child.

Katherin Shuffield was five months' pregnant when she was shot in the abdomen during the robbery at a Huntington Bank branch in Indianapolis. The fetuses died two days later.

Or is this one too harsh?

A Bloomington man will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a judge ruled today in federal court in Indianapolis.

Rickie L. Rarey, 50, today pleaded guilty prior to his sentencing on two counts of producing child pornography. Although federal law typically mandates a sentence of 15 to 30 years, according to federal prosecutors, his conviction more than 16 years ago of child molestation triggered a federal law calling for life imprisonment. He is not eligible for parole.

If you see the two stories separately, with some time in between, neither sentence might stand out. But when you look at both of them together, something seems off, doesn't it?


Bob G.
Mon, 02/15/2010 - 11:59am

"OFF", you say?

Yeah...by about at LEAST a country mile!!!

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 1:26pm

While producing child pornography obviously involves the abuse of minors and certainly should be illegal, the same is not true of possessing child pornography.
The First Amendment contains no exceptions. I find the very idea of kiddie porn repugnant, but I don't know how laws against merely possessing it pass constitutional muster.
And the life sentence, as you implied, is insane.