With the recent news event of the takeover of the federal wildlife refuge building, I was curious about something the news reports said of a sentence being extended.
Here’s the article on the case:
I was under the impression that sentences could not be extended unless there was a new trial. I thought that higher courts could only reduce or commute sentences, not make them longer.
Is this ability to extend sentences unique to the federal system?
Because I can think of numerous high-profile state cases where there was a big stink because the sentence the judge passed down was thought to be too lenient. (Ethan Couch comes to mind, though there have also been adult cases.) I’m unaware of the prosecutors having an option to appeal the sentence to get it thrown out and a harsher sentence given. My recollection is that basically the prosecutors had their hands tied. The sentence was what the judge said it was and nothing could be done about it.