By Alexa Kendell, Anna Zheng, and Koda Slingluff
SACRAMENTO, CA – Judge Patrick Marlette here in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday opined about the unfortunate circumstances of a defendant with mental health issues, harkening back more than a half century when former Gov. Reagan is credited with gutting many mental health programs in the state.
But, ultimately, the judge sent the young defendant, Deandre Bradd, away to state prison for three years on one count of forceful carjacking.
Bradd—who has already spent nearly a year in county jail—plead no contest to section 215 of the CA Penal Code, which is defined as a crime in which a person carjacks a vehicle through the use of force or fear. The court date was set to review the probation officer’s report and the public defender’s memorandum.
Assistant Public Defender Sheila E. Ramos noted “that in light of Mr. Bradd’s early admittance of guilt to the officers in court, and his age, and the doctor’s report that was included based on his immaturity, I’m asking the court to give him a shot on probation.”
But Bradd also has a criminal history, including shoplifting, possession of stolen property, violating a non-association order, removing a state ordered ankle monitor, as well as failing to complete a juvenile program. This impacted whether Bradd would be given probation.
Marlette took a moment to express his concern with how society deals with mental health, especially following former CA governor and President Ronald Reagan’s leadership.
“The courts have kind of become a hub for redirection out of the criminal system and into social help, things that might have been available, well I’m gonna go back to 40 years ago, to Gov. Reagan, but are not available now,” the judge said.
Marlette was likely referencing the defunding of mental health institutions under Reagan, who almost halved the number of patients in California mental hospitals by 1970.
“So it’s a shame these situations come this ripe to the criminal justice system. However, it is here,” the judge stated.
Judge Patrick Marlette noted that Bradd had prenatal alcohol exposure which “augmented his lack of sophistication.” But, when deciding the sentence, the judge said he considered the safety of the community.
“What the court has to consider along with the…unfortunate issues that have been visited on Mr. Bradd, is the safety of the community. And what we come to, then, is the extreme and gratuitous violence of this offense,” he concluded.
Bradd’s history of noncompliance with probation, combined with the forcefulness of the carjacking, ultimately superseded the judge’s sympathy. The court denied Bradd’s petition for probation.
Judge Marlette ended his review of the case with some well-meaning words for the defendant, saying, “I hope you become one of the people who can perform in a structured environment. I hope you take advantage of the programs in prison. And when you come out, you are able to conform to the requirements of the community.”
Alexa Kendell is a 3rd year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. She has a passion for political science and hopes to attend law school following her undergrad.
Anna Zheng is a fourth year at UC Davis from Sonoma, California. She is studying International Relations and Economics with the intent of pursuing a J.D. degree in the future. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in consulting, finance, intellectual property or business immigration law.
Koda is a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.
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