Over the weekend I wrote about the Montana judge who was given a sixty day jail sentence for repeatedly raping his own daughter. That’s a sickening tale which leaves us with a number of questions about mandatory minimums in sentencing, judicial discretion and the accountability of judges. Today, however, there’s a second case to look at and it is, if anything, even more vomit inducing than the last one. But there’s a key difference here. The perpetrator in this atrocity was sentenced to remain in prison until roughly the beginning of the next ice age. (Fox News)

A judge in Fresno, Calif., sentenced a man who raped his teenage daughter over a four-year period to 1,503 years in prison — marking a sharp contrast to the 60-day sentence a Montana judge handed down for incest.

The 41-year-old California man was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported.

The Associated Press is not naming the man because it could identify his daughter. The AP does not name victims of sexual abuse.

The name of both the convict and his daughter are properly not being released but the few details available from the court proceedings are horrific enough to tell us all we need to know. This victim was older than the 12 year old daughter in the Montana case, but was still a minor at the age of 16 when her abuse began in 2009. It lasted until she escaped from their home in 2013. The pervert (I refuse to use the word “father” in reference to him) was found guilty in September of “186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor.

We could expend several columns worth of material wondering what on Earth could be wrong with someone to make them behave in such an abominable fashion, but as part of the larger story arc it’s worth focusing on the sentencing aspect of the case. The monster in question was given more than 1,500 years in prison because you apparently still can’t give the death penalty to a creature like this if he hasn’t killed anyone. I suppose that sounds about right. Even with time off for good behavior on each of the sequential sentences he won’t be getting out for at least 700 years.

So that sentence was, shall we say, a bit on the high end. But in effect, all the judge did was give him life without the possibility of parole. And for someone guilty of that list of crimes it’s tough to argue against it. But how do we balance that against the judge in Montana? He may be facing impeachment, but will other judges take something from these contrasting cases? Obviously we don’t want to scare the rest of the judges into only handing down outrageously long sentences because there will always be cases with mitigating circumstances. But is there any sort of solution to prevent them from going off the beam in the other direction as was the result in Montana? If anyone has any brilliant suggestions I’d love to hear them because frankly, I’ve got nothing here.

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