SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — As public outrage grows over Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly giving a child rapist a more lenient sentence, the judge is finding a group of defenders.
Kelly last week reduced a 25-years to life sentence for Kevin Rojano, a man convicted of sexually assaulting and sodomizing a 3-year-old family member.READ MORE: Amazon Web Services Suffers Outage; Slows Disney+, Roku, Venmo
Kelly said the 25-year sentence would be “cruel and unusual punishment.” He reduced Rojano’s sentence to 10 years.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler reported Friday evening that board members of the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association signed a letter in Kelly’s defense.
“To attack Judge Kelly who spent his lifetime serving this county as a fearless prosecutor and an excellent judge is just terrible,” said defense attorney John Barnett.
He was among those who signed the letter.
“Our country for hundreds of years, has not trusted politicians to make the hard decisions we require judges to make. And for politicians to use this and to attack the judiciary is fundamentally wrong,” Barnett said.READ MORE: Boy Killed, Young Girl Among 2 Wounded In Wilmington Shooting
OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer disagrees.
“To think that judges are somehow not elected officials, we put them on the ballot. Bestowed with the public trust,” Spitzer said.
Barnett told Butler the public has a right to voice their displeasure with Kelly’s ruling — and the DA has the right to ask for an appeal without politicians weighing in.
“Judges make rulings everyday where some people are happy and unhappy. We don’t have their jobs rest on the unhappiness of one side or another. We don’t expect judges to call up board of supervisors and say how do u think I should sentence this person?” Barnett said.
Spitzer believes Kelly created his own firestorm with the reduced sentence.MORE NEWS: Monorail Or Heavy Rail? Metro Wants Public Input On Ambitious Project To Connect San Fernando Valley To LAX
“As an elected official, I have every right actually I have an obligation when the judge doesn’t follow the law to hold that judge accountable,” Spitzer said.