Attorney Seeks Ex-Judge's Release From Prison
Friday, May 18th 2007, 9:37 AM CDT
A former Creek County judge convicted of indecent exposure was back in court Friday. Donald Thompson says he's served enough time, and now he's asking a judge to release him early. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports Thompson's attorney argued his client is serving "extremely hard time," much of it in solitary. And that's why the former judge should be released early.
Thompson appeared in person to ask the same judge who sentenced him to four years for indecent exposure for some leniency.
"He's doing the hardest time that a person could do,â€ said Thompsonâ€™s attorney Clark Brewster. â€œHe's literally in lock down 23 hours a day, and he's being celled with people that are murderers and rapists."
Thompson was convicted for using a sexual device, while presiding over cases in his Creek County courtroom. Because of his time as a judge, he's being isolated in prison for his own protection. Thompson, himself, took the stand and told the court he often doesn't leave his cell at all. And the 60-year-old said he had to wait for three-to-five weeks to get refills on his prescription drugs.
Thompson's attorney argued the former judge has pretty much stayed out of trouble. There is one exception, an incident when he had some chewing tobacco, when he wasn't supposed to. Prosecutors say that shows Thompson hasn't learned his lesson.
"He has gotten a misconduct while in jail. He has violated the prison rules. Thus showing a continued pattern that he thinks the rules don't apply to him," said prosecutor Richard Smothermon.
Smothermon says Thompson could have had a shorter sentence, if he had accepted a plea deal, but he chose not to.
â€œHe had to know that if he were convicted and if he went to prison for these crimes, that things would be harder for him,â€ said Smothermon. â€He can't fall back on that now as an excuse to be treated differently."
Whether or not Thompson is being treated differently is really at the heart of this case. He argues he was sentenced more harshly because he was a judge. Obviously, the prosecution disagrees. Now the matter is up to a judge, who's expected to make a decision next week.
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