Mark Osler

In the News: Mark Osler on Kim Potter's Sentencing

Law professor Mark Osler commented for The Associated Press on the significance of Kim Potter's sentencing as it relates to previous cases.

From the article: Prosecutors had sought about 10 years in prison, but Koon got 2 1/2 years. Potter’s attorneys wrote that the decision to depart from the guidelines in Koon’s case was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. But one legal expert said they did not include other context: that the decision was fraught with controversy and led Congress to change the standard that the Supreme Court used to affirm Koon’s sentence. 

“It was a big downward departure, and at the time the sentencing guidelines were mandatory,” said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor who is now a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He said the defense’s decision to mention that case “shows a certain blindness to the larger scope of history — they’re citing to a downward departure that was rebuked by the Congress of the United States.”