Longform

Writing a Sentence

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Schindler concluded his arguments in the same way he wrapped up his closing statements to the jury last August 8.

"It cannot be that Mr. Symington submitted all of these false financial statements to all of these lenders and nothing happened," the prosecutor said. "Common sense suggests that's just not right."

Judge Strand has provided few clues about the sentence Symington will receive, but if his rulings so far in the trial hold true, he will likely split the difference between the probation officer's recommendation of six years in prison and the defense request for probation.

Throughout the trial, Strand has proved to be evenhanded in his decisions while at the same time going out of his way to give the defense every opportunity to present its case.

Strand appeared to be wrestling with the two scenarios presented by Lynam and Schindler during last week's presentence hearing.

Schindler's argument, in a nutshell, is that Symington is guilty of widespread misconduct.

Lynam's position is that Symington's illegal behavior was not the primary reason lenders lost millions of dollars on real estate loans to Symington's partnerships.

One of the few questions Strand asked during the hearing cut to the heart of the matter.

"What do you do when there is culpable conduct on the one hand, but perhaps not causation in the full sense on the other? How do you--how do you make a reasoned judgment in that regard?" Strand asked.

Symington will learn Strand's answer at 1:30 p.m. February 2.

Regardless of any prison time, fines and restitution Strand orders, Symington will likely never admit to his crimes.

Moments after he breaks up his chat with the jurors on the courthouse steps, New Times lobs Symington a question.

"Governor, you thanked them for doing their duty. Do you think they did their duty correctly?"

"I think they did the best they could. Sure. Sure. They did the best they could. Absolutely."

"Do you support their decision, then?"
"No. Of course not. I've always felt I'm innocent. Okay?"

Contact John Dougherty at his online address: [email protected]

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John Dougherty
Contact: John Dougherty