Law Professor Discusses Judge's Mannerisms In Nassar Trial

Published: Friday, January 26, 2018 - 3:10pm
Updated: Friday, January 26, 2018 - 3:17pm
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The former doctor for the American gymnastics team, accused of abusing more than 150 girls and women, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison this week.

When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read Larry Nassar’s sentence she told him, “I just signed your death warrant.”

It was one of many lines delivered by the judge that drew attention during the trial.

"As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you," Aquilina said at the trial. "Because sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."

And video of the judge tossing aside a letter Nassar had sent to the court before the hearing was widely shared this week.

Some applauded the judge for standing staunchly on the side of the women and girls in this case. 

But some worry that the judge’s mannerisms during the trial crossed a line — especially the suggestion that Nassar deserved to be punished in the same way he treated his victims.

Erica Goldberg is assistant professor of law at the University of Dayton School of Law.

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