An inside look into the justice system and sentencing

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A meeting held in Greenville Tuesday hoped to give people an inside look into the justice system and why sentences can differ from case to case.

Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb said when it comes to sentencing, there is already a window of minimum to maximum sentences that can be handed out.

sentencesHowever, she said based on individual cases and circumstances, they can help determine what plea deals or probation offers are given.

“How strong is your case? And then I also look at the person’s criminal history,” she said. “If a person has a very bad criminal history, they’re not going to get as great of a plea deal.”

Robb said the federal court may sometimes take a case involving a repeat violent offender. Federal courts can often hand down more severe punishments without the possibility of parole.

She said the drug epidemic sweeping the East is concerning, and Pitt County is taking a hard stance against it. She said users and sellers are being treated different, with users being sent to drug treatment court rather than just jail.

“We try to help them through positive reinforcement get off the narcotics that they’re on and try to help them turn their lives around,” Robb said.

Some in attendance raised concerns about how fair the justice system is. One woman was worried minorities were being treated differently in the courts than whites.

Sgt. Joe Friday with Greenville Police said he tries to treat everyone fairly, but said he can’t treat everyone the same.

“Every single one is different, and every single one is going to take you down a path that you’ve not been down before,” he said.

Last year, Pitt County had the 3rd highest number of cases filed in Superior Court in North Carolina, with more than 3,300 cases.

Robb said anytime anyone has a concern about sentencing, they can contact her office at (252) 695-7200

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