WILMINGTON, Del. — Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden’s decision to order probation instead of prison for a du Pont family heir who raped his young daughter has led to threats against her and calls for her removal from the bench.
But allies in the legal community have rallied to her defense.
Much of the outrage over Jurden’s 2009 sentencing of Robert H. Richards IV for fourth-degree rape was over her notation that he would not “fare well” in prison, a mitigating factor that she identified in her order.
Delaware prosecutors and defense attorneys have said it is unusual for a judge to list someone’s fitness for prison as a mitigator in a sentencing order, even though it is often argued that a frail or sickly defendant might get abused or suffer unduly in prison.
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