More than 100 people showed up to support Ridley-Thomas. The judge said his 'extraordinary' public service warranted more leniency than prosecutors sought.
"The judge said Ridley-Thomas’ lawyers have mischaracterized the case, and she emphasized the need for a significant custodial sentence." - What I took from this is that judges do not appreciate having proceedings in their courts being misrepresented and attorneys need to think twice before making public statements attempting to gain support for their clients. Disingenuous statements by an attorney can really hurt someone in sentencing. I'd be interested to see if, in our social media age, there has been an increase in these statements being found as "aggravating factors" than in the pre-social media information landscape. That would make a fascinating study if there is not already data on that topic.