An argument for the incarceration of Trump

In an essay for Just Security, CERL 2024 summer intern Alexandra Herrera — together with co-authors Norman L. Eisen, Samara Angel, and Riley Pynnonen — present a survey of sentences for falsifying business records in the first degree, and argue that Donald Trump should receive a sentence of incarceration following his conviction.

As Trump’s 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree was done with intent to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, making it a felony, the group posits the conviction as “perhaps the most serious FBR violation in the history of the state” of New York.

“We are accordingly of the view that, when Judge Juan Merchan announces Trump’s sentence on July 11, a sentence of incarceration is warranted — not only for the seriousness of the crime but also because many other factors that influence sentencing also favor jail time,” said Herrera, Eisen, Angel and Pynnonen. “Trump played a lead role in the scheme, has shown no contrition, violated a legally valid gag order during the trial 10 times, and has a history that includes civil verdicts for defamation, sexual assault, and fraud”

“Deterrence of future misconduct for the defendant and others also counsels in favor of prison time, with Trump suggesting he may once again engage in election interference in 2024.”

Alexandra Herrera is an incoming graduate student at Yale University pursuing a master’s in history with a focus in U.S. legal history. She is also a CERL 2024 summer intern. Read her bio here.

The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of any organization or university. 

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