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Friday, March 23, 2007

LaSane gets his, at last

Judges are always subject to second-guessing come sentencing day. But when a judge gets it right, he deserves unqualified praise. And Superior Court Judge James N. Citta got it right Friday in Toms River when he sentenced Michael LaSane of Berkeley to life plus 60 years in prison for the carjack-killing of Middletown teacher Kathleen Stanfield Weinstein 11 years ago. That carries twice as long for parole eligibility as LaSane received after pleading guilty to felony murder in 1997, a plea he was allowed to retract.

Citta put on the public record what so many observing this unnecessarily prolonged process have said among themselves: "I believe he exhibited sociopathic tendencies that lead me to the conclusion he has no conscience.''

Weinstein's 46-minute secret tape recording of her pleas to her abductor to spare her life, even offering to help him, made it clear that her abductor had no conscience. And trial testimony proved that abductor was LaSane, with the jury easily dismissing his far-fetched defense that his half-brother did it. That he pursued this trial, putting Weinstein's family and her legion of friends through her final agonizing moments again, showed he had not a shred of decency. And he didn't even apologize in court Friday.

LaSane rolled the dice on the retrial and lost. He's just 28, but with at least 49 years to spend in prison (he gets credit for time already served), it's doubtful he'll ever be a free man. That's justice, I suppose. But at least he's alive. He never gave Weinstein that chance -- all because he wanted her car.


Blogger margaret said...

Apologizing would be an admission he did the crime, Mr. Benjamin.

He can't admit the truth. Impulsivity seems to run in his family. He's going to spend much if not all of his life in prison, and it is warranted.

All of his decision-making processes make no sense to most people. True sociopaths don't learn or care to learn from punitive measures.
If anything, at least the family of Mrs. Weinstein can relax that Michael LaSane most likely will never live outside of prison walls.

2:46 PM, March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One can only hope that LaSane's mother didn't also bed down her son's current lawyer. It'd be a shame if we had to give LaSane a third trial.

6:03 PM, March 24, 2007  
Anonymous William Wall said...

Life imprisonment for murder never provides justice. Even prompt execution for murder would not provide full justice. Execution is only the best attempt to pursue justice.

9:54 AM, March 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay so for people who don't know but what the newspapers tell them they sure need to shut the hell up! There is no reason any of you should judge a man who truly was not convicted beyond a reasonable doubt! He plead guitly when he felt there was no other way out,so that he may once again be able to be or even start his own family one day.Being put in the situation, many of you would plead guilty as well if it meant having a few years shaved off of your sentence especially for something you did not do.A family in greevance will only make you look like a monster if you reply in any way. He showed no remorse because he didn't do it.Remorse for what? Execution is never the way,and anyone who believes in that is just ignorant and definitely unholy. And a car, wasnt luxury and i'm sure he has better taste than a toyota! A crackhead is a crackhead no matter what she does for a living. Thats where drugs get you...killed. Don't do drugs people

6:59 PM, April 23, 2008  

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