I’ve often wondered why a person, who is just convicted of a crime, is released from jail prior to their sentencing hearing. If they are convicted by a jury, why aren’t they put in jail immediately and kept there? Who in their right mind would expect someone who was just convicted of felony crimes and then set free, to actually show up for their sentencing hearing?
Case in point is 23 year old John Stuedle. In November, Stuedle was convicted of 15 counts of 3rd degree rape and custodial interference. He had been caught having sex with a 15 year old girl in a homeless camp just outside Florence, KY. Upon his conviction, the judge set the sentencing date for November 14 and he was released from jail. Had Stuedle appeared for his sentencing, he would have learned that the judge had planned to sentence him to 270 days in jail and 5 years of probation.
However, Stuedle failed to show up for that sentencing hearing, so a new sentencing hearing was scheduled for January 16. A new warrant was issued for his arrest and he was subsequently re-arrested and released again pending his formal sentencing hearing. January 16 rolled around and Stuedle again was a no show. He also missed a scheduled parole meeting with his probation officer.
Due to his no shows and failure to meet with his parole officer, his 5 years of probation have been changed to 5 years in prison. However, Stuedle is loose and on the run. The court knew of Stuedle’s rap sheet which showed that he had prior arrests for assault and terroristic threatening. Yet, they expected him to show up on his own accord so that he could then be sent to jail?
Would you willingly walk back into a courthouse to be sentenced to spend the next few years of your life in prison or would you be tempted to run and hide? That brings me back to my original question of why is someone convicted of a crime and then released from jail pending their sentencing? He was found guilty and should have been in jail. Instead, John Stuedle is wandering the streets of northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio to assault, threaten and rape others.
This is one of the things that is wrong with our judicial system. Too many convicted felons are set free before they should have been and allowed to prey on new victims. In my opinion, when the jury says guilty, they are immediately taken to jail and remain there until they have served their sentence.