John Shott
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2966 would put together an independent panel and create the West Virginia Sentencing Commission.

It was taken up by the House Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon and is sponsored by House Speaker Tim Armstead.

wikimedia / Wikimedia

A Charleston neurologist has pleaded guilty to a federal record-keeping violation.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Dr. Iraj Derakhshan admitted in federal court in Charleston on Thursday that he dispensed a prescription painkiller to a patient last June without reporting it.

Don Blankenship
Joel Ebert / The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Lawyers for convicted ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship say he can withhold personal financial information under a constitutional right to remain silent during sentencing.

Blankenship's attorneys cited the 5th Amendment in a Beckley federal court filing Friday.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Federal prosecutors say they oppose a request for a delay in the sentencing of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship following his mine safety conspiracy conviction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby said in a court filing on Wednesday that the sentencing of Blankenship should not be delayed.

Mingo County, Williamson
Flonight / wikimedia Commons

Former Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks' sentencing on corruption charges has been rescheduled again.

Sparks was slated to be sentenced June 16 in federal court in Charleston. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas E. Johnston on Monday rescheduled the proceeding for July 7.

Court records show Sparks originally was set to be sentenced Feb. 24. His sentencing was reset three times prior to Johnston's latest order.

  The West Virginia Supreme Court says a Kanawha County woman convicted in a truancy case can't be both fined and ordered to perform community service. The court says a Kanawha County judge also erred when he placed Beth Bennett on 90 days' probation. In an opinion issued Tuesday, the court says there are two sentencing alternatives for first-offense truancy. They are a fine, or requiring the adult to accompany the child to school.

The Law Works - Sentencing in Criminal Cases

Nov 1, 2013

Why are some convicted criminal defendants sentenced more harshly than others? If two people commit the same offense, and are convicted of it, sometimes one goes home, and the other to prison. Why is that?  Judge Alan Moats and Judge Russell Clawges join Dan Ringer to discuss Sentencing in Criminal Cases on this episode of The Law Works.