Arizona Criminal Courts Use God to Punish

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PHOENIX, AZ (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Arizona Litigation Services says that on July 22nd, 2005, Arizona Superior Court Judge Richard J. Trujillo sentenced a Glendale man to a maximum ten (10) year term for Theft, using The LORD as a factor to aggravate the sentence.

William Castle, 41, entered into a "no contest" plea, maintaining his innocence, in Arizona Superior Court (Maricopa) case number CR2004-022529-001, agreeing to a presumptive of 5 years to a maximum of 10 years. Judge Trujillo handed Mr. Castle the maximum term citing, "The subterfuge of attempting to bring in the LORD is reprehensible in the view of this Court." Trujillo considered an allegation made by Arizona Assistant Attorney General Jane McLaughlin, that Castle claimed to be a Christian to gain the trust of his alleged victims. Neither victim made mention or alleged this when they addressed Judge Trujillo.

Castle commented, "This case is a civil matter. I borrowed money secured by outrageously high-interest rate mortgages from sophisticated and knowledgeable 'hard money' lenders. I defaulted. I never discussed my religious preference with these people. Now I am in prison for 10 years because I allegedly offended God. The government is now after my brother and family members."

Archie Jones, of Arizona Litigation Services, said, "As a cum laude graduate from the College of Justice Studies of Arizona State University and a registered Republican, I am taken back. It is time for citizens to look at what is happening to this country's court system, especially in Arizona. Judge Trujillo has a reputation of being tolerant and fair. I guess the State's allegation of gaining trust, using God, pushed him over the edge. I was present in the courtroom. He was absolutely furious. The Christian conservatives now sit on the criminal bench in Arizona. So much for principles like separation of Church and State. Judge Trujillo threw the Establishment Clause out the window. Arizona law now parallels the dogma of the Inquisition of the late Middle Ages. Maybe we should burn Mr. Castle at the stake for being a heretic against the State's Church."

The Honorable Judge Richard J. Trujillo is a 1962 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and has a law degree from Arizona State University.

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REFERENCES: , , Arizona Litigation Services, Archie Jones, CR2004-022529-001, Judge Richard J. Trujillo, Arizona, news, press release from Arizona Litigation Services, Nov 15, 2005, Opinion and Commentary, , , , , Arizona Criminal Courts Use God to Punish