The sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor for killing Justine Ruszczyk (Damond) is set for this morning at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Kathryn Quaintance. Minnesota operates under a set of sentencing guidelines that indicate presumptive sentences for a given conviction. (The current sentencing guidelines and commentary are accessible here.)
Noor’s presumptive sentence for third-degree murder is about 12.5 years. Noor’s attorneys have asked for a sentence including no prison time (a so-called dispositional departure) or a more lenient prison sentence (a so-called durational departure) to one year and a day. The filings of Noor’s attorneys are accessible on the court’s Noor page here. Noor’s attorneys have also orchestrated the submission of letters to Judge Quaintance urging leniency. Minnesota Public Radio covers the letters here. I anticipate that both Mr. Noor and one of his attorneys will address the court prior to sentencing.
Who speaks for justice on behalf of Ms. Ruszczyk? The prosecutors will certainly be heard. They have yet to make a sentencing recommendation.
Justine’s family and fiancé, Don Damond, attended trial every day. Minnesota law accords them the right to make victim impact statements before sentencing. I trust that one or more of them will be heard this morning as well.
The Minnesota media are of course observing the proceedings intensely. Seats in the jury box have been reserved for members of the media from KSTP TV, MPR News, the Star Tribune, KARE 11, WCCO TV, FOX 9, CBS News, City Pages, and Minneapolis Telecommunications Network. The world is watching as well. Seats have also been reserved for the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Australia, the AP, AFP, and CBS News.
This is an important case. I attended trial every day for Power Line and will be in court again this morning for the sentencing. My trial reports are compiled here. I hope to post my notes on the hearing later today in a second part on the Noor sentencing.