Along with the rest of the country, many North Dakota residents may have been interested in finding out how the former spokesman for Subway sandwiches would fare in his sex abuse case. Several weeks ago, this blog detailed the case against Jared Fogel, as well as the disappointment that members of the public had that he did not stand to serve more time in prison. The trial is over and Mr. Fogel was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for charges of child pornography and traveling across state lines for paid sex with minors. Mr. Fogel pled guilty in a plea agreement, in hopes of receiving less time.

In criminal trial cases, competent defense attorneys will attempt to have penalties reduced or eliminated, if not by proving the defendant’s innocence, then by appealing to the mercy of the court. It may help to show how the defendant regrets his or her actions, or to convince judges and juries that excess prison time would be more detrimental than beneficial. Mr. Fogel’s attorney was no exception. He claimed that due to his client’s fame, he would suffer more hardship in prison than others who were incarcerated for the same offense; he said Mr. Fogel had already been adequately punished because he had lost his marriage, job and reputation; and he stated that Mr. Fogel’s punishment would not end out of prison, and as a result he wouldn’t repeat his crimes.

Regardless of others’ personal feelings regarding this case, it is important that those accused of crimes have representation that may convince the court to be reasonable in terms of prison time or alternate penalties.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Psychiatrist In Jared Fogle Case Links Weight Loss And ‘Mild Pedophilia,'” Samantha Guff, Nov. 19, 2015