Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Probation for manslaughter, a year for a beer, and other outrageous sentences

At its best, the justice system metes out a punishment that fits the crime. But lawmakers, judges, and parole boards are human. And sometimes human beings make mistakes. What follows are 10 such cases: 5 times the system may have gone overboard — and 5 where the sentence might not have been harsh enough…

Russell Obremski: A killer’s luck

In early February, 1969, Russell Obremski went on an alcohol-fueled murder spree that left two women dead, one a pregnant mother of five. Sentenced to 20 years for the murder, Obremski was out in five months. It would be only a few months later that Obremski would inevitably break down and have a beer, with horrible consequences.

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