Larry Nassar: 'Judge Rosemary Aquilina should have put emotions to one side in court', says lawyer

Larry Nassar: 'Judges should put emotions to one side in court', says lawyer

Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Larry Nassar is an "awful individual" and deserves to "have the key thrown away" but his judge should have put her "emotions to one side."

That's according to human rights lawyer John Cooper QC. Nassar, a former US Gymnastics team doctor has been handed a prison sentence of 40 to 175 years for sexual abuse.

More than 150 of his victims testified and during sentencing judge Rosemary Aquilina said: "I've just signed your death warrant."

Cooper told Jamie East and Vicki Butler-Henderson: "I must admit as a professional lawyer of over 30-odd years I did find the attitude of the judge a little bit emotional."

He thinks Nassar is "an awful individual, he deserves to have the key thrown away, but I don’t think judges should use that expression."

He added "I think people expect, particularly in this country, a degree of detachment and professionalism" from judges. 

Turning to the sentence itself, Cooper explained what tariffs are different in America to the UK.

He said: "We tend to feel that if you sentence someone to 175 years it really doesn’t have the logical impact and the understanding the public deserve."

Instead UK sentences are given "by looking at the sentencing guideline procedures and building the sentence up appropriately, in terms of a person's lifetime."

The lawyer said this helps prisoners realise "if they misbehave or commit crimes in prison or do not attempt to rehabilitate themselves" their sentence will be served in full, but if they behave "which is good for society in the long run then there is an incentive to do that."

sten to the full interview above